You’ll probably have seen the recent story about Olympic skier Bode Miller’s young daughter who tragically passed away after falling into a neighbour’s pool. Unfortunately, the pain that Bode and his family are experiencing is all too common. A recent survey by the Royal Life Saving Society found that more than 400 people drown in the UK every year – that’s nearly one person every 20 hours. Thousands more have near drowning experiences, and we have seen a few examples of this in the local tabloids recently.
In this blog, Nemo Swimming provides some insightful tips to keep your little swimmers safe this summer.
Drowning prevention: the basics
The first – and most critical – step to child drowning prevention is constant and active adult supervision. Your little Nemo should never be left unattended, and it is important to ensure that whoever is charged with watching them remains undistracted, and knows how to swim well. We’d also recommend that you attend a paediatric first aid course so that you are trained in basic rescue techniques, just in case the worst was to happen.
Where possible, restrict your child’s access to the water. You can either do this by placing a barrier around the water, or by placing a barrier around your child. This advice applies, of course, to any body of water – pools, fish ponds, water features, paddling pools and more.
Building familiarity and confidence
While you, as the parent, are ultimately responsible for your baby, toddler or young child’s safety, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your child develops their own sense of water awareness, which will help them stay safe in, on, and around water. These include water familiarisation, setting rules in and around the water, and discussing water safety with your little Nemo. Nemo Swimming lessons are all about promoting water safety, and your child will already to learning how to move in the water, ‘hold on’, float on their backs, blow bubbles, and be comfortable being submerged underwater. As they get a bit older, we then develop these skills further and start teaching children how to swim confidently without being held by a parent or instructor.
When it comes to water safety, the teaching should never stop. Drowning can occur in children of all ages, and even adults. If you have a child aged between seven and 14 years old, why not check out the amazing Swim Safe sessions that are being organised by the RNLI this summer – ideal for ensuring swimmers are confident and able to stay safe in open water.
If you’d like any further advice about keeping your baby, toddler, or young child safe in the water, then why not give our friendly support team a call on 0191 281 7678, or email [email protected]. They are always on hand to help!
Happy swimming, and stay safe!
Written by Emma, Nemo Swimming