A few tips on how to stay safe in open water this summer and get the most from your children’s lessons:

Swimming is a life skill which, in our opinion, should be taught from an early age in all schools.  However, funding and the requirement for specialist equipment doesn’t always allow this, so we are pleased that you are ensuring your child has that important life skill which may well end up saving their lives, or that of another!

One example is Allison Anderwald: a 5-year-old girl from Portland, Texas, who saved her mother from drowning after she sustained an epileptic seizure. Allison used skills that she learned from swimming lessons that she received when she was only 2 years old! (Source: http://dailyinsidernews.com/archives/9257)

You can supplement tuition even further by encouraging your child to get wet at other times rather than just their weekly lesson –   Encourage them to show you what they have learnt in their lesson.  If they are reluctant to get their faces wet, encourage this through play in the bath/shower, or outside.  It will really help.  Be prepared to get wet yourself, as children love to watch your reactions too.  All water activity outside of a lesson will help your child’s progress.

On average more than 400 people drown in the UK each year.  Nearly 60% of these are children and young people.  Many of these drownings are preventable.  Make sure that your loved ones are not counted in the next year’s drowning figures by following a few rules to water safety at home:

People can drown in as little as 2cm of water

  • Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty
  • Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended), empty the bath as soon as possible after use
  • Vulnerable adults and people who suffer from sudden seizures should consider using showers rather than baths

Water safety on Holiday

  • When researching your holiday, or arriving at the destination if you haven’t yet done so, check the safety arrangements of any water-based activities and if there is a lifeguard cover at the pool/beach
  • Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean
  • Make sure the whole family can swim
  • Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
  • Never swim alone
  • Follow the pool rules
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
  • On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also be aware of dangerous rip-currents
  • Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water.
  • Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
  • Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore

Thank you for your continued support of Elite Swimming Academy and we hope our advice helps you and your families stay safe this summer!