Warnings to keep children safe in water during summer sunshine
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
Parents across the county are being warned to stay vigilant to keep children safe around pools and ponds this summer.
As the summer goes on many people will look to enjoy the sunshine by bringing out inflatable paddling pools.
However, Public Health Suffolk is warning parents of the possible risks to young children and is calling on parents to keep them supervised.
The Child Accident and Prevention Trust (CAPT) and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) state that drownings can be silent and can occur in as little as three centimetres of water.
They have issued guidance to parents for keeping young children safe around water in the home or garden.
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While small children are playing in inflatable or home pools, parents should always provide supervision, and young children should not be trusted to supervise younger children as they may be too young to recognise danger.
It is also recommended that paddling pools are emptied when not in use and ponds are enclosed by fences or covered by grilles while children are young. Parents should remain alert to ponds and pools when visiting other people’s homes.
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James Reeder, cabinet member for public health and prevention at Suffolk County Council, said: “Young children can be fascinated by water, and swimming is great for a child’s health and fitness.
“It is however important to stay vigilant, and always supervise young children when they are in or near water.
“I urge parents to follow these simple steps so that children can enjoy the summer safely.”
Suffolk Trading Standards have also issued advice when buying paddling pools and other buoyancy equipment:
• make sure you read all the warnings on paddling pools and inflatables to ensure they are suitable for your child.
• water toys such as inflatables must state: ‘Warning: only to be used in water in which the child is within its depth and under supervision’.
•armbands and buoyant swim jackets are helpful to give children confidence whilst learning to swim, however you should ensure your child is wearing the correct size to provide the necessary level of buoyancy.
• rubber rings and inflatables are only suitable for children that already have some swimming ability and be wary of allowing very young children to use these toys, and ensure you provide constant supervision.