Drowning Prevention Week: all you Need to Know

Once again, we here at Everyone Active have partnered with the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) to promote Drowning Prevention Week for 2019.

The campaign was created by the RLSS to try and reduce these figures by helping people of all ages to have fun safely in and around the water.

It encourages schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities to promote water safety education through events, lessons, games and activities, in a bid to make people more aware of the dangers of water.

The Key Statistics

  • Every year, more than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland
  • It is also one of the leading causes of accidental death among children
  • Around 52% of these accidental drownings take place in open water
  • 80% of these involve men
  • Staggeringly, 56% of these men never intended to be in the water in the first place
  • 34% of these accidents take place during the summer – the most common
  • The highest percentage of drownings are among 20-29 year-olds

How is Everyone Active Supporting Drowning Prevention Week?

As part of its commitment to supporting the campaign, Everyone Active is delivering Swim Safe sessions to children attending school swimming lessons at Everyone Active centres across the country.

These will take place between Monday 17th and Friday 21st June and will be delivered to around 30,000 kids. They cover four core messages:

  • Always swim in a safe place
  • If you fall in; float, breathe, relax
  • Always swim with an adult
  • If someone else is in trouble – call 999 or 112

Staying Safe Around Water

There’s loads you can do to help keep you and your family safe around water, whether that’s in a paddling pool in the back garden, a swimming pool, a lake or in the sea.

While at home it’s important to always ensure self-closing gates fences and locks are secure to prevent children gaining access to pools of water, while all water storage tanks and drains should be covered too. Once you’ve finished with any paddling pools or buckets you’ve used as soon as they’re finished with. Turn any paddling pools upside down after use.

You also need to stay vigilant while on holiday. Not only are there the same risks as you’ll find at home, but you’re also in unfamiliar territory. There could well be different rules and the potential for a language barrier. When you’re booking, check the safety arrangements for any water-based activity and whether there’s lifeguard cover on hand.

It’s also essential you find out what the local warning signs and flags mean – they may differ from back home – and always find the safest places to swim. It’s also worth checking the low and high tide times to ensure you don’t get caught out.

Drowning Prevention in Open Water

On hot summer days, it’s awfully tempting to find the nearest body of cool water and jump in in a effort to cool off. Ideally, however, you should avoid this unless they are supervised by lifeguards. Rivers, lakes, quarries and reservoirs all look very tempting but hide plenty of danger.

No matter how hot it may be on dry land, open water is always significantly colder. It’s important you don’t just jump in until you are acclimatised to the temperature. Don’t ‘tombstone’ (jump into water from a height) and try and avoid swimming in deep water, as it will be much colder.

So, this summer, remember to enjoy the water, but be safe too.