Now that we’ve entered the warmer summer months, people are more likely to be enjoying the water. Mid Ulster District Council are appealing to residents to consider their safety and think before they act.
In support of Drowning Prevention Week, led by The Royal Life Saving Society, the Council aims to highlight the dangers of playing in and around water, whether it’s the paddling pool in your back garden, swimming in open waters at the beach or using the swimming pool on holiday.
Councillor Sean McPeake, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council said:
“Drowning Prevention Week provides a great opportunity to remind people of how important it is to remain safe and vigilant when in and around water. Everyone likes to cool off at this time of year in water, but we want to remind residents that the dangers of drowning are real and can be prevented.
“On a warm day it can be very appealing to go for a swim in open waters to cool down, but there are unseen dangers we must be aware of such as hidden rocks or strong underwater currents that even the strongest swimmer may be unable to deal with. The key message here is to think before you act.”
The Drowning Prevention Week campaign also highlights many factors we may not have considered, including the dangers of entering open water if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Alcohol can impair your judgement and reduce your ability to get to safety, increasing the risk of drowning.
Also, we remind parents that children can drown in as little as 3-5cm of water. If you are using a paddling pool in the garden or heading away on holiday never leave a child unaccompanied in and around water. Always empty the paddling pool when you are finished with it and store it upside down. If your child wants to paddle in the sea, ensure they are always with an adult and take extra caution when using inflatable toys.
Drowning Prevention Week runs from Friday 15 – Monday 25 June 2018 and aims to support adults and children to enjoy the water. Through local partnerships, education, challenges, workshops and resources for parents and schools, The Royal Life Saving Society are reaching our communities with important water safety advice.
If you would like further advice on keeping children under 5 safe contact the Council’s Home Safety team on 03000 132 132. For more information on Drowning Prevention Week click here.