During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning. In 2005, 39 children aged between 0 -14 accidentally drowned in the UK (RoSPA).
To keep yourself safe, when you are in, on or beside water, always follow the Water Safety Code.
Spot the dangers! Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water.
The dangers of water include:
Very cold temperatures
It can be deep - It is difficult to estimate depth
There may be hidden rubbish like shopping trolleys or broken glass
It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
Water pollution may make you ill
Take safety advice!
Special flags and notices may warn you of danger. Know what the signs mean and do what they tell you.
Go together! Children should always go with an adult, not by themselves. An adult can point out dangers or help is somebody gets into trouble.
Learn how to help! You may be able to help yourself and others if you know what to do in an emergency. If you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a Lifeguard if there is one nearby, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999, ask for the Police at inland water sites and the Coastguard at the beach.
Choose to swim at your local swimming pool where lifeguards are on duty. There are no lifeguards at quarries, canals, lakes, reservoirs or rivers.
The Dudley Safeguarding Children Board have produced two posters - these are available to download below.
For further information on water safety contact Rachael Doyle on 01384 815547 or firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s some tips below about being careful in the hot weather, especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions who are more susceptible to its affects.
In short, you can keep safe in the sun by seeking shade to cool down, keeping hydrated with plenty of fluids and making sure when you are out in the sun you wear at least factor 15 sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
As it’s during Ramadan, there’s also some advice below for people who are fasting.
Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
Avoid extreme physical exertion
Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes
Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
Take a cool shower, bath or body wash
Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck
Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun. However, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space
Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C
Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool
Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars
Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave
Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed
Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging)
Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications
Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature
Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate
Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral re-hydration solutions containing electrolytes
Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour
Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist