Wa­ter safety is no laugh­ing mat­ter: be safe, stay safe

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

It serves as a great start­ing point for plan­ning a safe aquatic adventure.

1. Be pre­pared

Learn to swim and sur­vive. Set rules for safe play in the wa­ter. Al­ways use safe and cor­rect equip­ment and know the weather and wa­ter con­di­tions be­fore you get in.

2. Watch out for your­self and oth­ers

Al­ways pay close at­ten­tion to chil­dren you are su­per­vis­ing when in or near wa­ter.

Swim with oth­ers and in ar­eas where life­guards are present.

3. Be aware of the dan­gers

En­ter shal­low and un­known wa­ter feet first and obey all safety signs and warn­ing flags.

Do not en­ter the wa­ter af­ter drink­ing al­co­hol.

4. Know your lim­its

Chal­lenge your­self within your phys­i­cal lim­its and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Learn safe ways of res­cu­ing oth­ers with­out putting your­self in dan­ger. When it comes to car­ing for your chil­dren around wa­ter, ex­tra care should be taken.

Ac­cord­ing to Wa­ter Safety NZ, preschooler drown­ings oc­cur when a child is al­lowed out of sight and reach of a care­giver; in the bath, pad­dling pool, or bucket – or larger bod­ies of wa­ter such as in a beach, lake or river.

No chil­dren un­der-five should be drown­ing in this coun­try.

Keep un­der fives within arm’s reach at all times. It only takes sixty sec­onds and around five cen­time­tres of wa­ter for a child to drown.

Al­ways empty and store pad­dling pools and wa­ter con­tain­ers af­ter use and en­sure you have a safely fenced play area

Iden­tify wa­ter haz­ards in and around your home and en­sure your chil­dren can’t reach them

If you’re in a group of peo­ple, en­sure you have an ac­tive su­per­vi­sion ros­ter so you know who is watch­ing the chil­dren at all times

Make sure older chil­dren don’t have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for younger chil­dren

Teach your chil­dren wa­ter safety be­hav­iour from as soon as they are old enough to un­der­stand, things like: ‘Never go near the wa­ter un­less you’re with a grown up’.

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