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5 key summer water dangers to watch out for

Sometimes, during our late spring and summer months, temperatures can rise, albeit briefly, and there’s nothing more refreshing than a nice dip in a lake or river, or a visit to the beach for a paddle in the sea. Children in particular love to play in and around water in the summer time, but whilst this a lot of fun we must always be aware of the dangers that water can pose. To help remind you, here are five main water dangers to keep an eye out for:

Lakes, rivers and reservoirs  

In 25 degree heat (ok, we're being very optimistic here!) lakes and reservoirs may look inviting, but these can actually be incredibly dangerous places to play, and we'd recommend avoiding going into them or just sticking to simply dipping your toes in for a shallow paddle.

The water can carry strong currents which could pull even a strong swimmer below the surface, plus there may not always be easy ways to get back out of the water once you’ve jumped in. Always make sure you’ve scoped out a safe entry and exit point before you let your children enter the water. Weeds and water plants are also very dangerous as can wrap around people and deter movement. These waters are also often deeper than you might think, and the very cold temperatures can cause the body to go into a state of shock, which in turn affects the ability to control breathing which then leads to panic and even drowning. 

Most reservoirs do not allow swimming - so its probably best to avoid them.

Other dangers to watch out for are discarded litter and glass as well as toxicity levels in the water. Pay attention to signposts and council notices regarding your nearby lakes and ponds to make sure they’re safe for swimming.

Ensure your children are wearing appropriate thermal swimsuits when swimming in this type of water. Most reservoirs do not allow swimming - so its probably best to avoid them. The little dude below is wearing a Jakabel Shorty Wetsuit (which have been reduced to £20 for some sizes and colours, take a look).

Paddling pools & ponds

Back garden paddling pools and ornamental ponds also pose significant dangers, especially for very small children who can drown in as little as 2cm of water. Make sure your little ones are supervised at all times when playing in paddling pools and tip out the water after they’ve finished, always leaving it face down when not in use. It’s also a good idea to have barriers around your ornamental garden pond, or a locked mesh grid over them if you have one, to keep curious children away from danger. Childminders and other childcare settings have to fence off their own ponds, so its wise that you do the same.

Tidal waters

A visit to the seaside is always a treat, but make sure you’ve checked out the local weather conditions and any information boards to make sure it is safe to let your children swim or even just paddle in the sea. Powerful underwater currents can easily sweep even strong adult swimmers out to sea, so young children should be closely attended when in the water. Personal floatation aids and thermal swimsuits are also recommended to keep children buoyant and warm when spending time in the sea. Watch out for jelly fish, seaweed and those spiky crabs (that are amazing to watch but hurt like mad if you stand on them)!

Water toys & inflatables

Lilos, dinghies and other inflatable toys are hugely popular with families when spending time at the seaside or the pool, but caution needs to be exercised especially when playing in the sea. As we’ve previously mentioned, currents can easily pull a swimmer out to sea, so if coupled with a strong wind, a child on an inflatable can easily find him or herself in danger very quickly.

Keep a close eye on children when playing with these sorts of toys and ensure they’re always wearing a floatation aid just in case. This Konfidence float suit is a winner. Put your daughter (or son, we have them in blue!) in one of these for added peace of mind.

Swimming pools

Though pools are deemed the safest places for children to play in water, it’s good to remain vigilant. Most public pools and hotel pools are lifeguarded and are very safe, but if you’re renting a holiday villa with a private pool or staying on a private complex with a shared pool, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any hazards and always watch your children in the pool. Slippery surfaces, deep water and prolonged exposure to the sun whilst playing in the pool can all be harmful, so ensure your children are fully supervised and wearing UV protection at all times.

  

 

Have a wonderful (and safe) summer!

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