Stay safe this summer – The Water Safety Code

More than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year, that’s one every 10 hours and many more suffer injury, sometimes life changing when they survive drowning. 

At GetSetGo! we have a real opportunity to equip our students with the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe around water.

We also believe that water safety information should be accessible to all. In an ideal world, every child would learn to swim. However, as this is not the case we wanted to share some useful resources which means, while there may be barriers to accessing water, every child can still benefit from water safety education.

To kickstart our Water Safety week we wanted to start with the basics….. Introducing The Water Safety Code:

The Water Safety Code provides essential and easy-to-remember information to help people plan for their activity and understand what they should do in an emergency.

1. Stop and think – Always Swim in a Safe Place

It is important for swimmers of all ages to know the dangers when swimming outdoors and preferably swim at a lifeguarded beach, organised session or supervised venue.

There are many dangers with water, which can include:

  • Cold water
  • Hidden currents under the water
  • Not being able to determine the depth of water due to poor clarity
  • Water quality, leading to illness
  • Uneven and slippery surfaces
  • Discarded rubbish that could cause harm

2. Stay together – Always swim with an adult

When swimming outdoors you must always stay together. With younger children keep them within arms reach when in on or around the water.

  • Never go alone!
  • Tell a family member where you are going and when you will be back
  • Children should always swim with an adult to ensure their safety.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment for your activity, for example a bright hat and tow float for outdoor swimming or buoyancy aids and the correct leash when paddleboarding, a whistle and mobile phone in a water proof pouch also help.

3. Float

If you fall into the water unexpectedly – float on your back until you can control your breathing. Then, either call for help or swim to safety.

4. Call 999

If you see someone in trouble, you must tell somebody or go to the nearest telephone and dial 999. Then ask for the Fire Service at inland water sites and the Coastguard at the beach. If you are at a swimming pool, you must tell the lifeguard.  Throw something that floats for the person to hold on to but don’t enter the water to help.