Tips for keeping safe around water this summer by Puddleducks.
The summer holidays are almost upon us, yippee! We hope everyone will make the most of them, with lots of water play of course!
We often get asked about how to safely enjoy swimming away from our classes, especially on holiday and how to help children retain and gain even more confidence during the summer break. Well you won’t be surprised to hear that really, it isn’t rocket science! Deep down, we bet you all know the answers… but we’ll share our thoughts anyway.
Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe.
Understand your swimming environment – especially how the depth changes.
Children will gravitate towards water – teach them to never enter the water without your supervision.
Pay attention to safety advice – always be on the look out for warning signs and learn what the different coloured flags mean at the beach.
Stay safe in the sea - Always stay in a safe depth. Inflatable dinghies and lilos are a well-known hazard and can easily be blown out to sea. Don’t use them in open water. Beware of rip currents and if caught in one, swim parallel to the shore.
Do your research – For water based activities discover the safety arrangements and whether is a lifeguard, ask local people for advice.
Test their safety knowledge – Use a fun game or quiz to ask your children what water safety tips they know.
Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. In 2019, an estimated 236 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. The World Health Organisation have a comprehensive report from 2014/15, which broke down by geographic location and age range, drowning is the 5th leading cause of accidental death in 5-9 year-olds in Europe and the 6th leading cause for 1-4 year-olds.
Children’s vulnerability changes with age but those under 12 months are relatively immobile and entirely dependent on caregivers. They can drown very quickly and in very little water, and in containers that may not be perceived as risks (for example, in a bucket or a toilet). Children who are mobile but too young to recognise danger or to get out of water are also at risk, especially in the absence of barriers and capable supervision.
Teaching water safety and personal survival skills to our babies and children is at the core of our Puddle Ducks Baby & Pre-school and Swim Academy lessons. Most of the activities are related to personal survival although our children just think they are having fun, spending time with their grown up and playing games!
Monkey Walks teach them how to hold on to the side and move along to a point where it is safe to climb out.
Blowing Bubbles teaches them how to breath out underwater.
Cowboy Rides teach them how to hold on to an adult for safety
Learning to kick to the surface and turn after jumping in teaches them how to return to safety.
In teaching these skills to your children from as young an age as possible, they become second nature, and if the worst was to happen and they were to fall into water, they would instinctively know what to do.
Whatever you do over the summer break we hope you have a fantastic time and have the chance to enjoy some wonderful weather!