Outdoor SwimmingThe fine weather has led to a number of children, often with their families swimming in local rivers, fens and lakes .
We would like therefore to share some reminders to everybody, shared withus by Ian Roberts (CCC Specialist Adviser for PE and National StrategicAdviser for PE & School Sport)
If you decide to swim in open water, then you should carefully consider the following factors because there is a big difference between swimming in a pool and swimming outdoors
- Make sure you have permission to swim at your chosen spot.
- Look out for safety signs!
- If a sign says “no swimming” and/or “danger” don’t swim there. When there are signs, they are there for a reason.
- Avoid weirs, locks and other structures. These can create underwate currents that can pull even strong swimmers underwater.
- Have entry and exit points that are accessible by everybody. You nee to be able to enter and exit the water slowly in a safe way. (Th majority of accidental drownings involving children occur within 2m o safety, where the child could not get out!). Avoid jumping into th water.
- Children should never swim, or indeed be near open water withou parental supervision.
- Never turn your back on the water, and indeed the people swimming in it!
- Think about the water quality – is the water potentially polluted (e.g.looks dirty, is a strange colour or smells) or has any pipes running into it. Don’t swim in stagnant water.
- When swimming outdoors, cover cuts and abrasions, however minor with sticking plasters. Don’t swim if you have deep cuts.
- Think about water temperature and the weather. Avoid swimming i strong winds, and where there is a big difference between air and
- water temperature.
- Be aware of currents. A strong current can easily prevent you reaching where you want to swim, or it could pull you away from your planne exit point.
- Make sure you have access to your towel and warm clothing quickl upon exiting the water.
- If anyone feels ill seek medical advice by calling 111 – including rashes for up to three weeks after being in the water. Highlight that you have been swimming in open water and tell the operator the location tha you swam in.
- Ensure you take all your belongings and leave the location as you found it. Take any litter with you and dispose when back at home.