With the summer months upon us, many families will be preparing to go on holiday and enjoy hours by the pool.
With this is mind, STA – the world’s largest swimming teaching and lifesaving organisation – and supporter of Eurocamp’s free Learn to Swim lessons has compiled 10 simple water safety reminders for parents travelling abroad this year.
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1. Young children are attracted to water. Don’t take your eyes off them for even one second if they are near water. Parents / guardians should take turns to keep an eye on children who are in the swimming pool.
2. Never accept the validity of pool depth markings in a foreign country – they can sometimes be wrong or misleading. Get an adult swimmer to test the water depth before allowing weak or non-swimmers near the pool.
3. If the clarity of the pool is so poor that you can’t see the bottom, then stay out of the water.
4. Drains and water inlets can trap fingers and hair. Point these out to children so that they understand the danger.
5. If the children’s pool is adjacent to the main pool, weak and non-swimmers should be deterred from changing pools or using the dividing walls / features to walk on.
6. Weak and non-swimmers should not go out of their depth – even when they are using armbands and other floatation devices.
7. At the beach, never play or swim near rocks, or near boats or other crafts.
8. On the continent ‘Red for Danger’ / ‘Yellow for Caution’ / ‘Green Safe to Swim’ flag system is used, but often a bit on the liberal side. It’s better to be safe and swim only when the ‘Green’ flag is showing.
9. Always swim parallel to the shore rather than out to sea – and stay within your depth.
10. Don’t take lilos and other inflatables into open water – they can blow you out to sea and they may pop.
And finally, explain and reiterate the four water safety rules:
- – Never swim alone
- – Don’t dive into unknown bodies of water
- – Don’t push or jump on others
- – Know where to get help in case of an emergency
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For more information on water safety, download your free copy of STA’s Water Safety Booklet. This has been launched as part of National Water Safety Week 2016 – STA’s annual campaign that raises awareness on the importance of learning how to swim and water safety.