Water Safety – Be Water Wise This Summer

Water Safety – Be Water Wise This Summer

Water safety is important throughout the year, but more so as the weather starts to get warmer and more children are tempted to swim/play in open water sites. Drowning accidents are especially high in the summer months and over the last few years, there has been too many tragedies that could have been avoided. See the poster below for 10 shocking facts in relation to child drownings.

WSCP wants to remind all children and young people that even in the summer months water, particular at open water and inland sites, such as canals and reservoirs, is often much colder than it looks. Entering cold water can cause cold water shock, reducing the ability to swim and self rescue.

Click here to watch a short video below which brings home the hard hitting realities of what can happen when swimming in open water. In this short film created by Wakefield Council and partners, we see a child jump into the water following peer pressure from his friends.

What can you do to help children be water wise and stay safe this summer?

  • Visit the WSCP dedicated water safety webpage, and access the important safety information for children and young people about how to stay safe in and around water. There is also additional advice and information about what to do if they get into difficulty.
  • If you are a professional working with children and families please share this information with them and direct them to the WSCP website to find out more – there are links to other safety information produced by national agencies such as the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) UK and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
  • Do you work with adolescent males? If so it is really important that water safety is discussed with them. As the facts above state, 79% of children who accidentally drown in the UK are male. This is a trend also seen in the Wakefield district, therefore it is important to have discussions about the dangers of swimming/playing near open water.
  • Are you a school? If so did you know about and have you accessed Yorkshire Water’s live events specifically tailored for primary and secondary school students. These water safety live events offer an introduction to staying safe, both in and around the water and in the wider landscape. Click here to find out more about these live events. Please keep reminding/discussing with your pupils the dangers of swimming/playing in open water and share the relevant water safety resources with them.
  • Advise children that if they are going to go swimming to do this in a safer place where there are lifeguards present. There are a number of Aspire swimming pools located across the Wakefield district which are open to the public and also offer swimming lessons. To find out more, including the costs, please click here.
  • Parents/carers should also be reminded to check their homes for drowning risks. Drowning can happen very quickly and in less that 2cm of water, so filled bath tubs, swimming pools, hot tubs, garden ponds and even buckets of water can be dangerous.
  • Planning to go on holiday? If so water safety is still very important, in 2021 more that 85 British Nationals drowned abroad. Whether holidaying abroad, or at home in the UK and Ireland, follow these RLSS basic principles to help ensure your family stays safe whilst having fun in, on or around water.
  • The Child Accident Prevention Trust have a number of useful fact sheets and information on staying safe in/around water in different scenarios, click here to take a look

Please help us to prevent future accidental drowning with your friends, family and any children you work to help communities enjoy water safely this summer. Please click here to watch a video in which Chorley mother Beckie Ramsay speaks about losing her son Dylan to drowning in 2011. This video highlights the devastating impact of drowning on friends and family, and reminds us all of why educating children about water safety is so important. 

Wakefield Safeguarding Children Partnership