Child Water Safety in the Garden
As the weather warms up, it is a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy some time in the garden, playing with your children.
The paddling pool, swing ball game, trampoline, climbing frame and swing all get uncovered or brought out of the shed as soon as the sun begins to shine. We warn our children about the particular dangers involved in these activities, but how much thought is given to the rest of the garden? A wheelbarrow can easily fill with rain water and even an empty paddling pool can collect rain water if left the right way round over night. Some simple considerations can prevent these becoming serious water hazards.
As the governing body for water safety, the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) has issued its advice on how to child-proof your garden, this summer.
Di Standley, Chief Executive of RLSS UK says: 'It only takes 5cm of water to drown in, which isn't a lot at all. Any kind of pot can soon fill with water and whilst you might have checked once, in a short amount of time things can easily change. Before you send your children out to play, have a scan of your garden as well as any neighbouring ones, do some simple checks and then keep an eye on them, as well as for any changes in the weather.'
Top Tips for child-proofing your garden:Fit a fencing around your pond
Ensure fencing to neighbouring gardens is sufficient, be especially aware of those neighbours with ponds or paddling pools
Do not allow your child to use a paddling pool without supervision
Ensure paddling pools are emptied and turned upside down as soon as they are finished with to avoid them collecting water
Check the garden regularly for anything that could collect water, like buckets and wheelbarrows
Teach some basic water safety techniques to children from a young age
Water Safety Tips for when you are out and about:Supervise children closely when in parks or other places that might have a river, pond or lake
Know where they are and who they are with
Follow any safety advice or notices that may be present
Teach your children to swim at the earliest chance and make sure they can float comfortably in water
Teach your family to wave and shout if they get into difficulty - practice this whilst treading water
Children need to know not to enter the water if someone else is in danger
Throwing a buoyant aid, stick, towel or whatever is at hand is the safest way to rescue a conscious person
If you see someone in trouble stay calm and try shouting for help. If no-one comes and you can't reach the person call 999
In addition, there are several courses people can go on to learn basic life-saving skills, for more information, safety tips or details of training, contact RLSS UK on 01789 773994 or visit www.rlss.org.uk