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Water Safety

Children love exploring so it’s important to keep them safe around water. Most children who drown will drown at home in the bath, in a garden pond, or paddling pool.

Young babies are unable to lift their heads very well, so can get stuck face down in water and drown very quickly. This can happen even in very shallow water - as little as 5cm.

Even toddlers and older children are at risk of drowning, so should always be supervised while in or near water.

    • Be prepared for bath time. Have everything you need ready e.g towels and toys so you don’t have to leave the room
    • Never leave your child or baby on their own around water, even if there is an older sibling with them
    • Let the water out of the bath while you child is still using it
    • Bath seats are not safety aids so stay with your baby or child if they are using one of these. Young children can tip over in a bath seat and become trapped or climb out once they are more mobile
    • Older children may not want you in the bathroom. Be nearby to check on them as they can still slip and injure themselves in the bath or shower.

    • Always stay with your child if they are using a paddling pool and empty it after use.
    • Think about neighbours and friends garden ponds and paddling pools too.
    • Cover garden ponds or ensure they are fenced off securely. You could fill in the pond or turn it into a sand pit until your child is older.
    • Take a look at this video from ROSPA about safety around garden ponds (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)

    • You could teach your child to swim so they are confident in the water.
    • When near swimming pools (at home or on holiday) make sure you never leave your child unattended. This is still important if they are using swimming aids, like arm bands, rubber rings or floats. Check if there is a lifeguard and what the safety rules are for each pool.
    • Teach children about water safety so that they choose safe places to swim, such as public pools and beaches patrolled by lifeguards, rather than canals, gravel pits and rivers as these can be dangerous.
    • If you do go to the beach, it may be worth finding out when the tide will change, so you're not caught out.
    • Make sure children wear appropriate well-fitting life jackets if doing water sports.

    Why not enrol on a first aid course so you are more confident in dealing with any incidents which might arise near water. It’s a good idea for older children to do a first aid course too.

Who Can Help?

You can also contact a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

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