In 'pool party' season, parents warned of drowning risks for toddlers

Tue, 19/06/2018 - 12:59 -- Editor

Derry City and Strabane District Council are highlighting the dangers of water, particularly for children under 5, as part of the Royal Life Saving Society Drowning Prevention Week.

The Council want to remind parents and carers that it is never okay to leave children unattended in and around water.

Accidents can happen so quickly but can easily be prevented.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle added: “Very often when we think of children and the risk of drowning we relate this to a swimming pool or open waters however, the stark reality is that most babies and young children who drown do so at home in the bath or in the garden and it can happen in as little as 3-5cm of water.

“Young children don’t yet appreciate the risks posed by water so are relying on adults to keep them safe. We are asking parents to take simple steps to reduce the risk of drowning.”

Top tips to ensure safety include: Never leave a child unattended in the bath or playing in a paddling pool – even for a second, bath seats are not a safety aid, use a non-slip mat in the bath. always pull the plug as soon as bath time is over, turn your pond into a sandpit, fence it off or securely cover it while your children are small, always empty your paddling pool after use and remember to store it upside down - this also applies to buckets and pots that can collect water.

For those parents with children under 5 concerned about safety in the home, Ards and North Down Borough Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency, can carry out a free confidential Home Safety check.

For more information residents can email the Home Safety team at homesafety@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk or call 0300 013 3333.