Warning to stay safe when playing near water

With the warmer days drawing ever nearer a warning has gone out to people to be extra vigilant when playing in and around water.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it was a sad fact that the number of accidental drownings tended to rise during weekends and school holidays as well as over bank holiday periods.

He said that RoSPA typically saw two regular scenarios at this time of year - accidental drownings in the home involving youg children and paddling pools and garden ponds and the accidental drowning of young adults in inland water areas.

When it comes to paddling pools the most effective measure is to empty the water from them when not in use and to fence off or limit unsupervised access to garden ponds,” he said.

He said that at this time of year at inland water sites the key danger was cold water.

“This is because the water can be a lot colder than expected and can quickly overwhelm even the strongest swimmer. There can also be strong currents and underwater debris,” he added.

Community safety development officer at RoSPA Carlene McAvoy said it was understandable that parents can’t supervise their children 100 per cent of the time.

“However we are asking parents and carers to check garden ponds and paddling pools if you have young children and discuss with teenagers and young adults the risks of cold water at this time of year,” she said.