A Wexford woman is urging parents to watch their children very carefully around water including paddling pools, swimming pools and by the seaside, as the mix of sunshine, water and children can be a lethal combination.
Elaine Dunne, who runs Water Babies classes in Wexford, is urging parents to be extra vigilant during the summer. 'The danger to children is much greater during hot weather with the added exposure to swimming pools, padding pools, canals, rivers and the sea. We all love the warm weather, chilling out and letting our little ones splash around. However parents tend to relax and gain a false sense of security for children during the holidays, when in fact they should be more attentive than ever.
'A drowning incident can happen silently and instantly, in as little as one inch of water and in less time than it takes to answer the telephone or tend to another child. Sadly, a primary factor in cases of fatal drowning is down to the initial shock, when a toddler or child falls into the water. Very young children react instantly and adversely to sudden and unexpected submersion, and are temporarily paralysed with fear,'
'We passionately believe that by introducing babies to water as early as possible, they'll be less likely to experience fear if they do fall in. With progressive training, babies can be taught life-saving skills very early on such as turning onto their backs or, following a sudden submersion, swimming to the nearest solid object.
'In the last few years over ten Water Babies pupils have saved their own lives, five of whom were just two years old at the time. It's fantastic what vital skills children can learn, and it's so important that they do so as soon as possible.
Water Babies primary goal is to teach babies vital lifesaving skills, such as swimming and holding on to the nearest solid object or turning onto their backs.