Thursday 8 December 2016

Stay safe when swimming

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Rosanna Davison with Blaithin O’Hea (2) at Dublin Docklands for the launch of National Water Safety Awareness Week.
Rosanna Davison with Blaithin O’Hea (2) at Dublin Docklands for the launch of National Water Safety Awareness Week.

We can easily forget the lurking danger on a summer's day out while swimming in the seaside, river or in a pool.

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Last year, 114 people drowned in Ireland and 55 of the tragedies were due to accidents. Swimming is good, healthy exercise for all age groups, but always be mindful of these basic safety tips:

* Swim at beaches with a lifeguard if possible

* If there is no lifeguarded-beach then swim at a recognised, traditional bathing area

* Swim within your depth - stay within your depth

* Never use inflatable toys at beaches, rivers or lakes

* Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and the safest areas to swim

* Ensure that ring buoys are present

* Never drink alcohol before swimming

* Younger children, between two and six years old, are particularly vulnerable to drowning in features such as ponds or small water containers

* Older children, especially teenagers, are most at risk from features near to homes such as rivers, lakes, flooded quarries and coastal water near to the shore

* Even the strongest swimmer can be affected by cold-water shock, which affects your ability to control breathing.

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