Caution urged for children near to ponds and pools

Communities / Wed 21st May 2014 at 05:49am

nettesWITH the summer fast approaching the Essex, Southend and Thurrock Safeguarding Children Boards are urging families with young children to be extra vigilant around garden swimming pools and ponds.

According to the European Child Safety Alliance, drowning is the second leading cause of injury or death for children in Europe, with young children more likely to drown in or near their own home. In a garden pond a child can drown in as little as two centimetres of water.

Simon Hart, Independent Chair of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board said: “While we want all families to be able to enjoy the fresh air and great outdoors, toddlers and young children are at real risk of falling into swimming pools and ponds and drowning. This can happen very quickly – within seconds – and is usually silent, so we would strongly advise that children are constantly supervised when in or around water.”

The European Child Safety Alliance and RoSPA recommend that swimming pools should be surrounded on all sides by fencing at least 120cm high, with a self-closing, self-latching gate to make them inaccessible to young children without supervision.

Further information can be found at: http://www.rospa.com/leisuresafety/watersafety/ and http://www.childsafetyeurope.org/publications/info/protecting-water-recreation.pdf

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