Whether or not you’re taking your little one swimming, you should never take your eye off them - or be out of arm's reach - whenever they're in, or around, water. In some instances, children can be so supremely confident around water that you'll need to be particularly on your guard against them happily diving in!
So to help prevent any accidents, we've compiled a list of 5 top tips for parents and 5 top tips for children, to keep the whole family safe around water.
TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS
Actively supervise young children around water
If leaving, even for a moment, take your child with you or designate a known adult to supervise. Make sure that the person supervising can swim themselves and will happily jump into the water to rescue a struggling child. Don’t ask older siblings to watch younger children – they’re not trained or mature enough to be given such a responsibility.
Be safety conscious at the poolside
Save the local emergency numbers on your mobile phone on the first day of your holiday and make sure your whole family knows where the rescue equipment and lifeguards are based.
Flotation devices are not life preservers
Toys and inflatables are often unstable and can be a hazard without adequate supervision. They are never a replacement for adult supervision.
Do not swim at beaches with large waves, a powerful undertow or no lifeguards
Find out where the lifeguards are and learn water symbols and flags indicating current beach conditions. Follow their advice.
Drinking can impair your supervision and swimming skills – especially when combined with the mid-day heat.
TOP TIPS FOR CHILDREN
- Never, ever swim alone
- Never push or jump either in or around water – it might result in injury
- Never dive into water unless an adult has already tested the depth and checked for underwater hazards
- Before you swim, always ask what to do in an emergency and where to get help
- Always wait an hour after a meal before swimming