Summer has officially arrived and many millions of British holidaymakers are preparing to depart to foreign shores in search of the elusive suntan, which means long days by the pool or on the beach. Inevitably many accidents occur when simple safety rules are ignored or forgotten in the heat of the noon-day sun. So we’ve compiled 10 simple water safety reminders for people intending to ‘chill’ by the pool or on the beach this summer. Please share.
- Young children are attracted to water. On arrival, inspect the location for potential hazards – it is not uncommon for a drowning to occur while both parents have been unloading the car or unpacking upon arrival. Don’t take your eyes off them for even one second if they are near water. Parents / Guardians should take turns to keep their eye on children who are in the swimming pool even if they are in floatation devices and can stand up.
- Never accept the validity of pool depth markings – they are often wrong or misleading. Get someone to test the depth before allowing weak or non-swimmers near the pool.
- If the clarity of the pool is so poor that you can’t see the bottom, then stay out of the water.
- Drains and water inlets can trap fingers and hair. Point these out to children so that they understand the danger.
- If the children’s pool is adjacent to the main pool, weak and non-swimmers should be deterred from changing pools or using the dividing walls / features to walk on.
- Weak and non-swimmers should not go out of their depth – even when they are using armbands and other floatation devices.
- At the beach, never play or swim near rocks, or near boats or other crafts.
- On the continent a ‘Red for Danger’ or ‘Yellow for Caution’ and a ‘Green Safe to Swim’ flag system is used, but often a bit on the liberal side. It’s better to be safe and swim only when the ‘Green’ flag is showing.
- Always swim parallel to the shore rather than out to sea – and stay within your depth.
- Don’t take lilos and other inflatables into the water – they can blow you out to sea and they may ‘pop’.
Safety near water is everyone’s responsibility. Following the above advice will help you to enjoy a safe holiday.
- Water Safety, Health & Wellbeing