Keep Safe Around Water in the UK Summer Bank Holidays

The heat is on. To beat the scorching weather, many UK citizens are tempted to spend a weekend at recreational spots or activities to cool down. Recent weather forecasts informed the public of another scorching spell to hit southern England after the momentary respite last week. Reports estimate temperature ranges to peak at 30°C to 33°C. While southerners brace themselves for another possible heat wave, those up north will continue to enjoy occasional showers and temperatures at 25°C.

Whether planning to set up the backyard pool or taking a dip in cool rivers or beaches, it is important to consider safety first at all times. Having a blast in the water is a refreshing time off work or school, but unfavorable circumstances that could have been avoided can spoil the enjoyment or worst, lead to a traumatic experience. Recently, the Royal Life Saving Society in UK reported more than five deaths due to accidental drowning. Last year, the death toll reached 255. Water safety specialists warned the public to take safety precautions to keep family and friends safe in and around water during the holidays.

1. Choose a lifeguarded beach when planning to take a weekend vacation in the coastal area. Obey all safety regulations and swim only in designated areas to avoid accidents.

2. Equip children and inexperienced swimmers with floatation device/equipment of approved standards. Be very attentive to kids and to the elderly even in shallow waters.

3. Never swim alone. Minors should always be accompanied by grownups.

4. Be aware of cold water shock, one of the main causes of drowning. Cold shock lowers skin temperature and can also lead to other deadly shock stimuli such as breathlessness, and cardiac and blood pressure problems.

5. Check the swimming area for aquatic plants or animals that pose danger to swimmers, and make sure to observe eco-friendly practices to preserve the habitat or activities of these entities as well.

6. Observe correct diving positions to protect one’s body from harm. Also, make sure to be clearheaded and active before taking a plunge.

7. Watch out for rip currents. If caught in one, stay calm and do not swim against the tide. Advice unskilled swimmers as well to learn how to tread until they are free from the current before attempting to head back to the shore. Rip tides have caused drowning in many beaches, and so beachgoers must be aware of what to do in case they swim across one.

8. Drain kiddie pools or tubs after use to avoid incidence of accidental drowning. Always pay close attention to young children even in one’s own backyard pool.

9. Learn basic rescue and safety training and CPR to have prior knowledge on what to do in case of an emergency.

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