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Water safety this summer

With summer upon us, children are natu¬rally going to be exposed to more water, be it a paddling pool in a garden, during a trip to the seaside or when on holidays.

Lucy McDonnell, a swimming instructor at the National Aquatic Centre, says it only takes two inches of water to drown a child.

If you are near a pool on holidays, she says parents should never take their eyes off their child because they can get pushed into the water or under the water very easily.

“Be very vigilant. Keep your eyes on them all the time. If they are running around on holidays near a pool make sure to have armbands on them if they are very small,” she says.

Water Babies has the following water safety tips:

• Risk assess your home environment - check if you have any unsecured areas where water is present such as a paddling pool, a bucket full of water, a pond.

• Always supervise your child when they are in or near water - it is vital that any adult nominated to watch a child is able to swim and is not afraid to jump in.

• Be safety conscious at the pool side – check where the first aid kit is and if there are lifeguards on duty. Have your mobile phone with you when at a private pool and store local emergency numbers.

• Swimming at the beach - do not swim at beaches where there are large waves, a powerful undertow or no lifeguards.

For more information, visit www.waterbabies.ie