Warnings over river banks and water in Harlow

Communities / Mon 25th May 2015 at 10:32am

THE Essex Safeguarding Children Board this week launches its ‘Wise up to water safety’ campaign.

As summer approaches families enjoy being in the garden, but of course many family gardens contain ponds, paddling pools or even hot tubs and swimming pools – all of which can be a potential hazard.

In recent years in Essex there have been three child deaths where the cause of death has been found to be falling into, and drowning, in a residential swimming pool.

But it’s not just swimming pools; any water area of more than a few centimetres in depth in the garden can be dangerous for young children. It takes just three minutes to drown in less than two inches of water.

Mike Gogarty, Chairman of the Child Death Overview Panel, said: “There are some really simple steps people can take to make their gardens water safe for young children. Securing fences around swimming pools, emptying paddling pools when not in use, and filling in garden ponds are all measures we would encourage parents to carry out.”

Parents and carers of young children are encouraged to WALK through the ESCB guidance on water safety this summer so that everyone can enjoy their gardens.

Walk the boundaries. Make sure you have fences around any water area in your garden.

Avoid tripping hazards. Keep any water area in your garden tidy and safe from toddling feet.

Learn to swim. It’s never too early to enrol children in swimming lessons.

Keep watching. Children should always be supervised around water.
Simon Hart, Independent Chairman of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, said:

“We are encouraging all families with young children to take steps to make their gardens water safe this summer. The aim of this water safety campaign is to demonstrate to parents and carers that there are simple steps that can be taken to keep their children safe. If this campaign saves just one child from drowning it will be worth it.”

Detailed advice and guidance on making gardens water safe, as well as downloadable posters and leaflets, can be found on the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website (www.escb.co.uk/watersafety) and you can follow the campaign @EssexSafeguards and #splashsafely

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