Having read a couple of stories at the beginning of the summer about drownings / near drownings that have occurred both in public swimming pools and also on the beach it reminded me how dangerous the water can be.
My 4 year old is extremely confident in the water, she seems to think she is some kind of mermaid, but even with my eyes firmly tamed on her she had a recent fall into the river during a camping trip. She was playing on the river bank and disappeared in the blink of an eye. She was retrieved within seconds and came out of the experience unscathed, but it was proof of how quickly these things can occur.
Summer fun is often associated with water and children love getting wet, so as long as we keep safe then the fun can continue
Who is at Risk?
Young children are at risk of drowning in and around the home in the bath, ponds or garden. Older children are more at risk of drowning in open water as they get more confident in their skills.
About 150 children under 15 were taken to hospital after nearly drowning in 2010-11
How to reduce the risk
Parents can help reduce the risk of drowning but ensuring they supervise their children in and around the water even if they are sitting in a few centimetres of water in the bath. Children are unpredictable and can vanish into the water in the blink of an eye. They do not tend to panic and thrash around drawing attention to themselves when they do get into trouble which makes it even harder to spot.
What to do if someone gets into difficulty in the water?
Only enter the water if it is absolutely necessary
Once you have got the person onto land, open their airway and check to see if they are breathing - look listen and feel for up to ten seconds.
If you think they're not breathing effectively, commence CPR. Open their airway and give five initial rescue breaths before starting CPR. If you're alone, perform CPR for one minute before calling for emergency help.
If the person is unconscious but you think that they are still breathing effectively (you can see their chest rise and fall 2 - 3 times in a ten second period), put them into the recovery position with their head lower than their body and call an ambulance immediately.
Continue to observe the casualty to ensure they don't stop breathing or that their airway becomes obstructed.
If they are conscious they are at risk of hypothermia. Remove wet clothing, wrap in warm, dry clothes / a foil blanket if available and give small sips of a warm drink
The water can be a lot of fun, but it is so important to be vigilant so everyone can enjoy their summer, to learn more or book a first aid course visit my website www.safety-first-welling.org