The sun is shining and thousands of us will be heading off to the nearest beach or swimming pool to enjoy the glorious British summer time.
Before donning your swimming costumes, take a look at the following water safety advice we have gathered from various water safety experts:
General water safety advice
Don’t rely on someone else watching children or vulnerable adults, drowning is silent! Keep sight of them at all times.
Learn to swim and teach those who can’t.
Understand water safety, which is different from being able to swim, knowing what to do should someone get into difficulties could make all the difference. There is some great water safety advice available on the ROSPA website.
Watch children playing near water, if your child goes missing check the water first as every second is vital.
Life guards, for the most part life guards do an admiral job of keeping pool users safe, however, as highlighted in a recent case won by Specialist Brain Injury Solicitor, Tristan Holdom, they are not always effective.
Floatation devices should not be relied upon to keep children in the water safe.
Do not wear loose fitting clothing, it is tempting in outdoor pools to cover up those prone to sun burn by adding a t-shirt over a swimming costume. Pools have pumps and drains, if a piece of clothing gets caught in a pump it can pull the wearer under.
At the beach
Know the tidal information for the area you are in and be mindful of the warning signs. Tides can turn very abruptly and areas of our coastline will change dramatically. Even if you are not in the water, take care to keep an eye on the tide and ensure you can reach the access point quickly and easily should you need to.
The weather may be hotting up but the sea and rivers around the British coast will still be very cold. The cold water advice given in a national campaign by RNLI “Respect the Water” gives some lifesaving advice. If you fall into cold water, float until the shock of the cold has passed. Do not try to swim as your body will be in shock, restricting blood flow and removing the air from your lungs making you gasp involuntary. Wait a minute and “float”. Once the shock has passed, call for help and if able, swim to safety. More information about this cold water campaign can be found here.
Watch for signs of a rip current: choppy, discoloured, foamy water, filled with debris. A rip current can carry even the strongest swimmer far from shore, almost before you realise what is happening. If you get caught in a rip current, as with the cold water, relax. Float, if you can safely raise your arms and shout for help.
However you choose to stay cool this summer, please stay water safe!