Ryan Trumpeter of Hamilton Aquatics offers advice on how to ensure your child stays safe in and around the swimming pool and by the sea.
Drowning is the third leading cause of death worldwide for children aged five to 14, according to the World Health Organisation. With water all around us in the form of swimming pools, canals, lakes, rivers, oceans, and even during bath time at the end of the day, we all have an obligation to ensure the safety of everyone in and around water, especially children.
Drowning can be prevented through important water safety education for swimming pool operators, parents, and children alike. Swimming pool operators have a legal obligation to provide a healthy and safe swimming pool environment for everyone using the facility to help prevent drowning.
Steps to ensure this is provided include strong access control measures, effective safety procedures, and suitably qualified staff. Naturally, children and adults love to explore and push their limits. This can lead to unsafe practices where non- or weak swimmers go out of their depth — sometimes unknowingly in the sea, where depth changes continuously — become tired, or use inflatables to compensate their lack of swimming ability, resulting in distress or emergency situations.
Supervision is absolutely key in the prevention of drowning in swimming pools and along beaches to ensure the safety of children. Highlighting risks, explaining and ensuring rules are followed, providing swimmers with flotation aids such as arm bands or noodles, and making sure lifeguards are respected are some of the simple actions we can take to ensure everyone’s safety.
AT THE BEACH
Especially by the seaside, there are numerous hazards including marine animals, rough seas, and rip tides that have the ability to pull even the strongest of swimmers many metres out to sea in just a matter of seconds. With lifeguards present at beaches that often accommodate crowds in the hundreds, supervising children and delivering water safety education is extremely important to assist lifeguards in the prevention of drowning. Most importantly, one of the essential life skills everyone should possess is the ability to swim. Ensuring children are taking swimming lessons from as young as three months gives them the required confidence and skills to be able to swim as they progress through their swimming programme. This also brings peace of mind to parents, who can relax that little bit more knowing their child can swim and there is a qualified lifeguard overseeing their safety.
THREE KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER TO KEEP THE FAMILY SAFE THIS SUMMER INCLUDE:
1. Start or continue your swimming lessons
2. Always supervise your children in and around water
3. Follow the rules of the pool or beach
SWIM WITH CONFIDENCE
Hamilton Aquatics offers swimming lessons, synchronised swimming, and competitive swimming across the UAE, with prices starting from AED 60 per class. Lessons are delivered to children in a fun and engaging environment from the age of three months upwards. Visit www.hamiltonaquatics.ae/summer for details.