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Water safety advice for parents

Young children tend to forget about water safety if they are enjoying themselves and having fun.

Water holds a special fascination for children. Especially ponds as they love watching the wildlife. Did you know that most two or three year olds drown at home or in your neighbour’s garden?  

Whether the water is held in a garden pond, a rainwater butt, a paddling pool or a bucket, a young child will invariably investigate.

It is difficult to watch a child 100% of the time, so it is important to reduce the risk of drowning within your garden and when out and about. Never leave children unsupervised near any body of water, whether in the garden, on the beach or when near rivers, canals or lakes.

If you are out for a family walk by a canal, river or lake stick to designated foot paths. Keep the whole family a safe distance from the edge as the banks can be dangerous. As they are slippery and can often crumble, especially if it has been raining.

Check your garden

  • If you have a garden pond you could turn it into a sandpit, cover with a secure ridged grill or mesh, fence it off or even get rid of it by filling it in.
  • Make sure your garden is secure so that your child can’t get into a neighbours garden, they may have a pond or other drowning hazards.

Children love splashing around in a paddling pool

  • Make sure they are supervised by an adult at all times and always empty the paddling pool after your children have finished playing in it.

Never let children swim in rivers, canals, lakes or ponds

  • Even if you think it is shallow, the depth can change very quickly.

When you’re on holiday keep the beach a fun place to be

  • Never let children go in the sea unsupervised. Make sure you swim between the red and yellow flags.
  • Don’t use inflatables in the sea, especially when the orange wind sock is flying.