Making Sure Your Children Stay Safe By the Pool this Summer

Summer vacations are all about sun, sand and sea (or pool), which is fun for all the family, but can also bring safety fears with little ones charging around the poolside or paddling in the waves.  Water Babies, the  leading baby and toddler swim school, is keen to make sure water safety is top of mind for holidaying parents, so everyone can have fun without the fear factor.

Half of parents admit they have lost sight of their child for long enough while away to cause panic, according to a research study of 2,000 families’ swimming habits. The majority of holiday accidents occur in the first or last hour at a resort, when parents are most likely to be distracted.

Children are at risk during summer holidays due to a lack of water safety awareness and swimming skills.  More than half of the parents said they wouldn’t feel confident their child could save themselves if they got into trouble in the water, and 44% admitted that they wouldn’t feel confident in their own swimming skills to rescue their child. In fact, 16% of parents confessed they couldn’t swim at all.

To keep your family safe this summer, Water Babies recommends these top tips for parents and little ones.

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS
Always actively supervise your children while they are in, on, or near the waterIt is vital that any adult caring for a child is water confident and able to take action in an emergency.  If you must leave, even for the shortest time, take your child with you or make sure that another responsible adult is supervising your child around the water
Never leave an older sibling to watch your childrenThey’re not trained or mature enough to be given such a responsibility.
Be safety conscious at the pool sideCheck the safety arrangements for the pool. Does it have supervision, what do you need to do in an emergency? At a private pool take a mobile phone. Always find out/know how to contact the emergency services at the start of your holiday.
Flotation devicesIf using a flotation device, do ensure that it’s the correct size and age for your child. You’ll need to take the time to work out exactly how it works, and practice using it first.
Beaches can be especially hazardousAlways go to beaches where there are lifeguards on patrol. Ask the lifeguards where the safest places to swim are. Always supervise your children in the water – even when there are lifeguards on patrol.
Stay sober near waterAlcohol is a contributory factor in many  drownings. Do not drink alcohol while in or around the water. It can impair your supervision and swimming skills.
Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage. In an emergency if your child stops breathing, call 999. Starting CPR will ensure your child has the best chance of making a full recovery.

 

TIPS FOR CHILDREN
Never swim alone
Do not engage in horseplay – pushing and jumping onto others – that might result in injury or drowning
Do not dive into water unless someone has already tested how deep it is and checked for any underwater hazards
Know what to do in an emergency and where to get help

 

75% of parents surveyed were totally unaware drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in children. This is particularly worrying as around 60 children drown in the UK alone every summer and 75 Brits drown on holiday abroad each year.

Paul Thompson, Water Babies co-founder, says: “It’s vital to encourage children to respect water from as early an age as possible.  It’s tragic that drowning is still the third highest cause of accidental death for  children. In most cases it’s the shock of sudden submersion that causes children to panic. We believe that by introducing children to the water as early as possible, they are less likely to experience fear if they do fall in.  Our youngest pupil was only one day old!”

“With progressive training, babies can be taught lifesaving skills such as turning on their backs or, following sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object. Over the last few years a dozen of our pupils have saved themselves from drowning, some of whom were just two years old.”

 

Visit www.waterbabies.co.uk to find out more about the benefits of baby swimming

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