Water is fascinating for young children and a great source of fun and exercise – but is also a major danger if a 0-5-year-old is left to play in it, or near it, unsupervised.
Did You Know?
- Drowning is one of the main causes of accidental death in babies and young children
- Babies and toddlers drown silently and can do so in just a depth of 3cms of water. Even rainwater collecting in a bucket can be a potential drowning hazard for a child.
- More babies and young children drown at home, in the bath, in garden ponds and paddling pools than anywhere else
- Adult supervision is the key to ensuring your child is safe when around water.
To make the advice quick and easy to access, we will divide the information into age categories.
Babies and young children in this age category will most likely love playing with water. It’s perfectly safe for them to do this – but only with your supervision at all times. Allowing them to play in water will assist with their development and learning about the world they live in.
You can even help them have fun and learn by joining in with them when they play in water.
If your child is in the bath, always remain by their side. Don’t be tempted to sit them in a bath seat or something else submerged under the water as your child can easily slip or fall into the water and would not be able to lift itself up.
Bath seats can be a great help, but they are not a safety aid and babies can wriggle out of them. Never leave your baby alone – not even for a few seconds.
Once you have finished with the bathwater, pull the plug straightaway.
Begin teaching your child about the dangers of water around the home – like how ponds and swimming pools are a drowning hazard for them.
Running Free/School Children
Supervision at bath times is still advisable, unless you are sure they can be trusted to be safe around water. Education in this development category is key.
If you have a pond in your garden you may want to consider filling it in, or fencing it off to ensure your child doesn’t fall into it.
A paddling pool in the garden is a great source of fun for children on sunny days. But once they have finished playing in it, empty it straight away.
Also, be alert to what friends and family have in their homes and gardens and be alert to the potential dangers.