Staying safe in water during the school holidays

With schools breaking up for the end of term today or early next week, children up and down the country are looking forward with anticipation and excitement to their summer holidays and perhaps a trip to the seaside with family and friends.

The warm weather and (for some) what seems like the ‘never ending’ six-week vacation are the perfect recipe for a summer outside – and of course it is important that our children know how to stay safe while they have fun in or by water.

Swimming and water safety is included within the national curriculum. As such, all children should leave primary school able to swim and with knowledge of how to stay safe in and around water. Sadly, every year we learn of heart-breaking individual stories where playing in the water goes horribly wrong.

The facts are that accidental drowning causes more than 400 deaths in the UK every year andthousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences.It is now the third highest cause of death in children, according to the Royal Life Saving Society UK. The risk is particularly high during warmer weather and the school holidays, with problems often caused by swimming in open water, strong underwater currents, sudden changes in water depth and not following warning signs.

At 1decision, we recognise this is an issue, and as part of our PSHE programme we provide water safety teaching ideas for schools aimed at 8-11 year olds through our Keeping/Staying Safe module. Building on our module for 5-8 year olds, this further supports children in identifying ways of keeping themselves and others safe.

Children deepen their understanding of the impact and consequences that can happen as a result of their actions, exploring areas such as peer pressure. They learn how to risk assess, recognise danger and warning signs, and further their understanding of the dangers that surround them. You can view a clip from our Water Safety video here.

Hayley Sherwood, creator of 1decision, part of Headway learning resources

20 July 2018

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