CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO GET KIDS TO STAY SAFE THIS SUMMER

“Summer is an ideal time to enjoy the outdoors – especially given the pandemic and now that lockdown restrictions have eased,” says Dr Will Taylor, local GP and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG. “But there are many risks to children, at home and outside, that often result in serious injuries and, sadly, in some cases, even death.”

“We want parents to talk to their children and make sure they are aware of the potential dangers. It’s also important that parents know what to do if something does happen.”

Seasonal trends at this time of year are water-related and falls from height. But, there are many more that could be avoided and help reduce the pressure on the NHS during an already challenging time.

The campaign kicks off with water safety called ‘The sun’s hot – the water is not!’

Every year, in the UK, around 700 people die from drowning as a result of an accident in or around water. Children drown both at home and on holiday because they don’t take simple precautions, so reaching parents and children with water safety messages is vital.

One of the biggest mistakes people make – especially children and young people is under estimating the temperature of the water and the hazards beneath the surface in rivers, lakes and canals. The RNLI has called for children to be taught about the dangers of cold-water shock as figures suggest the number of young people accidentally drowning rose by almost a quarter last year.

Cold water shock can affect breathing and movement – even among strong and confident swimmers. Anything below 15C is defined as cold water, and the shock can be the precursor to drowning.

Here are some tips for helping to stay safe around water:

Make sure you and your family can swim, be water confident, and have water safety skills

Don’t be tempted to cool off in open water when it’s hot

Be smart and only swim at lifeguarded beaches and pools

Use your awareness and knowing how to avoid key water-safety hazards, such as rip tides, strong currents and cold-water

Deal with hazards in and around the home such as ponds, baths, paddling and swimming pools

Know what to do in an emergency

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