Keeping children safe in water

Summer is finally here and many of us are going on holiday to have fun by the beach or pool. But as a childcarer or parent it is really important that we are aware of all the risks, so that children are safe at all times.

Although drowning is relatively uncommon, children under 12 years old are most at risk. On average, approximately 40-50 children drown in UK every year, according to RoSPA. Yet almost every one of the cases could have been avoided. We have outlined below key tips to minimise the possibility of an accident occurring in water.

Always keep an eye on your children

Drowning children don’t yell for help; often they just disappear from your sight. Make sure you know exactly where your children are – and where they should be. Never assume others such as lifeguards will supervise your children for you.

Never leave children in the pool alone. If you are bringing two or more children, do not leave one child in the pool while taking another one away. Many accidents occur when parents/carers are absent just for a brief moment – and a brief moment is fatal enough.

Take children to swimming classes

Statistics suggest that 1 in 3 children in the UK can’t swim, however, it’s better for children to learn how to swim so they won’t develop a fear for water. For those children who are too small to attend swimming lessons, you can always help them to become more prepared by assisting them to become more familiar with water as well as teaching them basic swimming skills. When children are older i.e. 4 years they are often developmentally ready to start learning how to swim according to The American Association of Paediatrics.

Knowing how to swim doesn’t mean 100% hazard free. You should also teach your children proper pool behaviour. Tell your children not to run near water. Let them know they can get help from lifeguards when things happen.

Get swimming aids

Swimming aids are a great way of supporting children who are not confident swimmers. A large variety of swimming floats can reduce the risk of children drowning. Swim jackets, armbands, and kickboards can aid your children with buoyancy, which also enhances their confidence in the water. Just remember don’t rely solely on these tools to keep your children away from dangers; some tools such as swimming noodles are toys rather than safety devices. Bear in mind inflatables are not substitutes for supervision.

Know when you should/shouldn't bring your children to water

Remember children especially toddlers are much more vulnerable than adults. For instance, children lose heat faster than adults, so it’s important that we are aware of how cold the water is. Hygiene is an important issue too when it comes to children swimming because their skin is much more sensitive and delicate, and their immune system is much weaker than ours. Separate shallow pools for toddlers and young children are always a better choice.

Accidents can occur at home too!

Not all drowning takes place in the pool. Toddlers can drown when they are in bath as well. In fact, young children can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Do not leave your children alone in bath. Empty the bath whenever it’s not in use. Make sure your children cannot put the bath plug into the hole to fill up water. Have covers or lids over containers with water inside and keep your children away from them.

The most common emergencies for babies and toddlers:

– Choking

– Burns and Scalds

– Head injuries

– Cuts and Bruises

– Unconscious or not breathing

Babyem Paediatric First Aid

The Babyem Paediatric First Aid course allows you to learn in a comfortable and friendly environment where you can ask numerous questions and practice life-saving skills with the support of an expert. For more information on our courses please visit: www.babyem.co.uk email: info@babyem.co.uk or call: 020 8986 9008/ 07967 684098

Babyem provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Babyem is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you book a First Aid course to gain the skills and confidence to help in an emergency.

Summer is finally here and many of us are going on holiday to have fun by the beach or pool. But as a childcarer or parent it is really important that we are aware of all the risks, so that children are safe at all times.