Swimkidz - Staying Safe near Water
Swimming is a fun activity, a sport you can enjoy all your life, and most importantly, will keep you safe. A child can get used to water from as young as 6 months old (after they have had all their initial injections,) and you can find plenty of classes that are held locally if you can't teach them yourself.
If your child is not already enrolled in swimming lessons then don't panic. There are crash summer courses available and plenty of tutors around who can advise you. Swimkidz run lessons from the Hilton, Cobham, and at the Chessington World of Adventures Resort Hotel.
Top Tips for the Beach
- If you are letting your children explore, set a time and agree a meeting place for them to return to if you get separated.
- Make rules regarding playing on the beach versus going in the water. Don't let your child go in the water alone.
- Keep an eye out when the tide comes in,especially if your children are playing in rock pools, as they may become stranded.
- Watch out for waves, especially if you have small children. Even a small wave can knock a child over. Dumping waves - when they break with great force in shallow water - often occur at low tide.
According to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), of the 17,000-odd rescues they make each year, most of them involve children and the
incidents occur not far out at sea, but on the UK's busiest beaches. The most common problem is a rip current that can take anyone, even a strong swimmer, out of their depth. ˜Rip currents can occur at any beach with waves - so that's most of the UK coast,' says JoJo Mains, RNLI's beach safety manager. ˜This is why we encourage people to swim between the red and yellow flags at lifeguarded beaches. Lifeguards know their beaches and are experienced in spotting rips and other dangers. They place the flags to identify the safest areas to swim.'
Other rules to follow include checking the tide times, reading safety signs and flags and making sure children - or in fact anyone - never swims alone.
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