Outdoor water safety guidance
We hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and managing to get outside to enjoy fresh air, fun and physical activity.
Tameside parks are full of families and we have some great water features around the borough. Please use these safely and be vigilant, especially with those younger members of our community – keeping a close eye in and around water is essential.
The Royal Lifesaving Society UK’ Drowning Prevention Week takes place between 19th – 26th June. To raise awareness of this important issue, here we share some guidance on how to enjoy our outdoor spaces safely and look after each other.
- Toddlers’ heads are disproportionately large compared to their bodies, so even when just lying flat in very shallow water they may not lift their nose and mouth clear to breathe.
- Unless a child has been taught from a very young age, self saving actions are NOT reflexive. Most children will either lie/hang almost motionless in the water. Some will even tip upside down due to their heavy head versus buoyant nappy. Children need to be taught what to do and even then you should never assume they will rescue themselves from even the shallowest of water.
- A child can drown in the time it took us to type this single sentence. They do not necessarily reflexively hold their breath.
- Anyone who is drowning has water in their airway. Drowning can be SILENT, there is not always screaming for help or flapping of arms. In most cases, it is a ‘plop’, then nothing. An adult may make motions that look like they’re climbing a ladder that can potentially be perceived as ‘messing about’. A child probably won’t even do that.
- Most drownings happen when other people are watching. Everyone is watching, but no one is seeing. Everyone assumes someone else is being vigilant, but no one actually is. Or, even worse, someone does notice but doesn’t want to interfere or look an idiot by crashing into the water.
- Anyone who ingests water should be watched carefully for at least 24 hours and any child who does, should be checked out at the hospital.Water penetration to the larynx or aspiration into the lungs can cause submersion injury that does not display itself until a period of time afterwards. Children are particularly susceptible.
For more information on water safety and drowning prevention visit https://www.rlss.org.uk/Pages/Category/water-safety-information
Please enjoy our beautiful area SAFELY