Beside the sea
||Drowning is the third most common cause of death in the under 16 age group. Some 50 children drown in the UK every year
For obvious reasons, the number of accidents involving water always rises during hot weather and Roger Vincent of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) urges parents who live near open water to discourage children from playing there.
“There are so many dangers. Children overestimate their swimming capabilities,” he warns.
“The water remains cold even during hot weather and there are the hazards of current, weeds and deep holes which can drag them down.
"Children should go to a properly supervised area where they have to wear life jackets.”
Children should be taught to swim – currently 200,000 children leave primary school without the basic skills needed to survive in water.
For seaside holidays
to be fun for everyone, parents
Flag warning system
- Know where the life guard (if there is one) operates from.
- Check tide tables. Some tides come in so quickly a child can be out of his depth, and further out from the shore than he can cope with.
- Tell children to swim parallel to the shore, so that they won’t get out of their depth.
- Point out landmarks to swim between so they keep within your vision - and don’t get lost on the beach.
- Follow the flag system - see below.
- Not allow inflatables in the sea unless there is a designated area which is supervised or you can oversee.
- Remember sun protection - you can burn while in the water.
- Not allow swimming for one hour after eating a meal.
This is the new flag system
which has been agreed throughout the UK
- images curtesy of RoSPA.
| Red and yellow – lifeguards are on patrol and you should swim in the area between the flags.
|| Red – when this flag is flying it is dangerous to swim and you should not go into the water.
|| Black and white – this indicates that the area has been designated for use by surf and Malibu boards and it is not safe for swimmers and bathers.
in the UK
are usually supervised
and children should be made aware
of all the regulations
like no running, ducking, dive-bombing
. Generally children have to be over eight
years old before they are allowed to swim
on their own.
or in hotel
you should check the depth
of the pool (this isn’t always marked). You may also want to make sure that the pool is properly maintained
lose body heat
very quickly so the water temperature
should be at least 29°C, 28°C
as recommended by the Amateur Swimming Association.
The temperature outside
should be a degree or so warmer.
Children, especially the under-fives
, should be supervised
at all times. They can drown
in a few inches
happen when a parent just pops
into the house
for a towel
or to answer the phone
or a doorbell.
your child or children - wrap
them in towels
and take them with you.
should always be emptied
(or hung up somewhere out of reach) overnight
in case children go into the garden on their own the next morning.