The importance of Water Safety Skills at a young age

The importance of Water Safety Skills at a young age

As many of our customers may know from last year, Neil Bailey Swimming is an active supporter of the RLSS Drowning Prevention Week Campaign, created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), in partnership with the RNLI and Swim England. The aim is to reduce the number of drowning and near-drowning incidences that occur in the UK every year, by showing people how to be safe and have fun near water. The campaign encourages schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities, to promote water safety education through events, lessons, games and activities, in a bid to make people more aware of the dangers of water.

Over 400 people drown each year in the UK and drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children. So what can we do to reduce this number? Educate. By introducing simple swim safety tips from a young age, that are reinforced by repetition, we can hopefully increase awareness and ensure children are equipped to deal with an emergency in the water.

Below are 4 tips advocated by the RLSS, that could save a life:

A similar drowning prevention campaign by the RNLI, ‘Respect the Water’, supports the same message – ‘Float to Live’. Here is the advice from the 2018 campaign:

  • The RNLI Respect the Water campaign is calling on the public to remember one simple skill – FLOATING – that could mean the difference between life and death
  • Seven people said the Respect the Water float skill helped save their life in 2017
  • We know over half (55%) of those that died at the coast in 2017 did not intend to enter the water
  • British and Irish waters are cold enough year-round to trigger cold water shock – causing uncontrollable gasping and the reaction to thrash about and panic
  • People’s instinctive reaction is a potential killer – panic and thrashing around increases the chances of breathing in water
  • To survive when in trouble in cold water, fight this instinctive reaction and instead:
  • FLOAT – for a short time to regain control of your breathing – only then should you try to swim to safety or call for help
  • If you do see a friend in trouble in the water at the coast, fight your instinctive reaction to go in after them, as this puts you at risk of getting in trouble yourself. The best way to help is to call 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.
  • You can try to find something that floats and throw it to them, or tell them to FLOAT on their back until help arrives.
  • The 2018 Respect the Water campaign will run throughout the summer with advertising across cinema, outdoor posters, radio, online, and catch-up TV channels.

Below is a link to an article about a 17-year old boy, Evan Chrisp, who saved his life by floating on his back after being swept out to sea.

For more information on RLSS Drowning Prevention Week, please follow this link. Stay up to date with our support efforts on our Facebook,Twitter and Instagram pages.