Ahead of the school summer holidays, We are backing a campaign which teaches people to stay safe near water.
Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign from the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) which runs from 16 to 26 June and aims to spread water safety advice far and wide.
During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children and young people put themselves at risk of drowning.
In 2016, a total of 16 children aged under the age of 14 and 24 young people aged 15 to 19 years accidentally drowned in the UK, the majority of which were male.
The campaign is encouraging schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities to promote water safety to make people more aware of the dangers of water.
- Spotting 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.
- Take safety advice - special flags and notices may warn you of danger. Know what the signs mean and do what they tell you.
- Go together - children should always go with an adult, not by themselves. An adult can point out dangers or help if somebody gets into trouble.
- Learn how to help - You may be able to help yourself and others if you know what to do in an emergency. If you 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 beach.
Councillor Watson McAteer, Police, Fire and Rescue, and Safer Communities Board Chair
“This campaign is timely as we approach the summer holidays when young people are more likely to swim in the various types of open waters we have in the Borders.
“Drowning Prevention Week has plenty information available at its website and we would encourage anyone who is likely to be around open waters this summer to take the advice on offer, which could help save a life.”
Visit RLSS to download materials from the Drowning Prevention Week campaign.
Images are available at our Flickr page.