Saturday 7 December 2019

Keep your children safe on holiday with these simple tips

IF YOU are off on a break with young children, remember a significant number of pool drownings happen on either the first or last day of a holiday.

The message is, don't send your children out to explore before you know what hazards are around.

An average of 150 people drown in Ireland each year, mostly inland, in rivers and lakes, on farms and in and around homes.

Children in particular need to be supervised during the summer to reduce the risk of drowning.

•If you go to stay with friends or relatives, remember their home or garden might not be as child-friendly as your own.

•Children like to explore new surroundings, so make sure they don't go far on their own. Ask your hosts to place medicines and cleaning products out of sight and out of reach.

•Check the garden, if there is one, for potential hazards such as tools, ponds or water butts. Just a few inches of water can be enough to drown a child, and it can happen quickly.

•Garden ponds present a danger. If you've got a toddler, the best thing to do is fill the pond in with sand to make a sand pit. Otherwise, cover the pond with a substantial grille or put a fence around it.

•Barbecues are fun, but make sure the barbecue is in good condition, and don't use petrol to light it. If children are around, watch that they don't get too close to hot surfaces.

•At parties, make sure at least one adult stays sober and sensible to supervise the children.

•If your child has wandered off, check water areas, such as park ponds, neighbours' ponds and pools first.

•Every day, tip the water out of a paddling pool when children have finished playing in it. Accidental drownings often happen when a young child wanders away from his or her parents or is playing near water.

•Be within grabbing distance. Most young children will just drop into the water and not come back up again. They won't scream for help, so you can't rely on hearing them.

•Adults should not swim alone, do not swim just after eating and do not swim when you are hot or tired.

•Do not swim out to sea; swim parallel and close to the shore.

Health & Living

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