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Jul 2, 2019 #education, #Events

PARENTS wanting to help their youngsters keep their cool this summer are being offered some top tips on water safety.

PaddlePod, which is opening two state-of-the-art swimming pools at Newcastle and North Tyneside this autumn, recognises that soaring temperatures and school holidays means that families inevitably head towards the water.

And according to PaddlePod, it doesn’t matter if you’re heading abroad, planning beach and river trips as part of a “staycation”, erecting a paddling pool in the garden or making your way to a local splash pad, safety always comes first.

PaddlePod, which has been set up by the experts behind award-winning swim schools, SwimNE and Nemo Swimming, is particularly keen to offer advice to parents or carers of babies, toddlers and pre-school children.

PaddlePod founder and director, Phil Groom, said that parents and carers may not realise that young people are in trouble until it’s too late and that many people have a movies-inspired version of what drowning looks like.

“On films and TV someone who is drowning splashes around, making lots of noise and motion so it looks as if they could easily be spotted,” said Phil.

“The reality is often very different and happens silently. The person may not be able to call for help and probably can’t wave or signal as their natural instinct will be to press down on the water’s surface.”

At the same time, the swimmer in difficulty may not be able to control their arm movements, making it more difficult to swim to safety or to hold on a lifeline.

“They are also likely to be vertical in the water, so it would be impossible to see someone kicking,” added Phil, who has created these top tips.

  • Ensure that youngsters are constantly under active adult supervision. It can only take a minute for them to get into difficulties. Whoever is looking after them should also be water confident.
  • Ensure you find a way to block access so that the young children can’t get into the water if you’re back is turned for a second. They can get into difficulty very quickly in a small amount of water, so stay vigilant.

“If it’s not possible to put a barrier round the water, then put a barrier round them,” said Phil.

  • If a paddling pool is not in use, turn it upside down so it doesn’t fill with rainwater if there’s a down pour and become a potential hazard.
  • Build water confidence and explain to children from the earliest age about the importance of only entering water when there’s an adult around.
  • Learn basic first aid techniques so that if the worst does happen, you know what to do.

“Summer is a fantastic opportunity for children to build their confidence in the water,” said Phil.

“And just by being aware and observing a few rules, being in the water is a great experience for everyone.”

PaddlePod will open this autumn with a range of facilities including cafes, play areas, an activity room, with a full events programme, comfortable viewing galleries and modern changing rooms.

Further information is available at www.paddlepod.co.uk