Swimming expert says parents MUST empty paddling pools after use as kids can drown in even a few inches of water – The Sun

Swimming expert says parents MUST empty paddling pools after use as kids can drown in even a few inches of water – The Sun


PARENTS have been warned about the dangers of leaving a paddling pool out in the heatwave, even with just a few inches of water.

Hannah Smith, director of aquatics at British company Water Babies, said even a shallow amount of water can be fatal for youngsters.

She advised: “Paddling pools are great fun in the garden on a hot summer's day, but always keep water safety a priority, even if your children are in a paddling pool with just a few inches of water.”

Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in children, according to Swim England.

To help prevent any dangers, Hannah gave some tips to families travelling abroad for a summer holiday.

She said: “When it comes to emergency and survival, every second counts.

“If you are abroad, make sure you know the emergency number and it is always advisable to have a first aid kit with you.

“Flotation devices can be a fun experience for babies and children, however they can drift away with currents and tides, or even tip over with your little one inside.”

Hannah said water should be a minimum of 30C, or if your baby is under 12 weeks or 12 pounds it should be even higher at 32C.

Advice for parents from The RLSS Drowning Prevention Society

  • Drowning is one of the highest causes of accidental death in kids in the UK.
  • More than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year (300 of these are accidental).
  • There are more than 10 near-drownings for every death, with many of these people suffering life-changing injuries.
  • Some 56 kids under the age of 11 drowned in the UK during the last five years.
  • To keep your kids safe…
  • Always lock gates and fences to stop kids from gaining access to water.
  • Securely cover all water tanks and drains.
  • Empty paddling pools and buckets straight after use, and turn them upside down.
  • Always supervise bathtime, and empty the bath immediately afterwards.
  • Check the safety arrangements before going on holiday – is there a lifeguard at the beach?
  • Check bathing sites for hazards, and always read the signs.
  • Always swim with your kids, and beware of dangerous rip currents in the sea.
  • Never use lilos and dinghies in open water – there are drownings every year where people are dragged out to sea.
  • Don't swim near rocks, piers, breakwater or coral.
  • Swim parallel to the beach, and close to the shore.

She said you should always be aware if there is a lifeguard present, where the deep end is and if there are any slippery or cracked surfaces.

The swimming expert recommended having a designated adult to watch kids, even if there is a lifeguard present, and non-swimmers should be within an arm’s length away.

She said at Water Babies the average starting age is between three and four months, but they have pupils as young as a day old in their classes.

Three mums share the agony of losing their beloved children to drowning – and why the guilt will never leave them.

Meanwhile, a revamped £6.8m swimming venue shuts after four days because a child almost drowned – and parents are furious.

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