the third most common cause of accidental death among the under 16's.
Here we tell you how to avoid the dangers of water.
Incidences of drowning rise when the weather is warm.
Inland water areas, such as rivers, streams, and canals are especially
risky and tempting to young people who see such places as a good spot
to cool off.
nearly 200 deaths were recorded last year the vast majority of which
occurred at inland water site.
Most of these victims could also swim, but the nature of such places
can present problems to even the most experienced swimmer.
The Royal Society
for the Prevention of Accidents has a list of key points to bear in
mind to minimise the risk of drowning.
The best way to prevent drownings is pretty obvious; stop people
from going into the water in the first place!
How to break
Experts have come up with four main reasons why people drown. All
these reasons are linked to one another, a bit like a chain. Therefore
experts refer to them as 'links' in a 'Drowning Chain'.
If you want
to stop people from drowning you must find a way of breaking one
of the links, and therefore breaking the chain.
The links of the chain are:
1) Ignoring or misjudging danger
If you manage to break the first link of the chain, you are more
likely to prevent a drowning. This can be done by educating people
to recognise dangers and risks- just like you are doing now by reading
2) Having easy access to hazards
To break this link, getting into the water should be made as difficult
as possible. Warning signs and types of fencing should be in place.
3) No Lifeguards present
You are more likely to drown in places where there are no lifeguards
around to rescue you if you do get into danger.
4) Unable to save yourself or be rescued
If you haven't broken the chain yet, the only thing that is going
to save you is managing to save yourself or by somebody else rescuing
you. This is the last chain in the link because if you break the
other links first, you are more likely to successfully save lives.
Water Safety Code
the dangers! Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn
to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm
indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim
in cold water.
of water include: it is very cold; it can be deep; it is difficult
to estimate depth; there may be hidden currents; there may be hidden
rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass; it may be polluted
and may make you ill; it can be difficult to get out (steep slimy
banks); there are no lifeguards. Take safety advice!
flags and notices may warn you of danger. Know what the signs mean
and do what they tell you.
go alone! Children should always go with an adult, not by themselves.
An adult can point out dangers or help is somebody gets into trouble.
how to help! You may be able to help yourself and others if you
know what to do in an emergency.
see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a Lifeguard
if there is one nearby, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999,
ask for the Police at inland water sites and the coastguard at the
For more details on the Water Safety Code go to: http://www.rospa.org.uk.
Why not get
yourself some essential skills? Our BBC
First Aid Action website has an interactive test that puts you
at the scene of a virtual drowning accident.
To find out
more about lifeguard training in our area by visiting the Colwick
Park Lifeguards website.