Swindon Water Safety Roadshow reaches 1,000 local children

By Jamie Hill - 15 November 2019


Children from across Swindon have taken part in a Winter Water Safety Roadshow run by charitable social enterprise Better this week (11th – 15th November 2019).

Nearly 1,000 children from East Wichel Primary, Ridgeway Farm Primary School, Holy Cross Catholic Primary School and Ferndale School were visited by the Winter Water Safety Roadshow team.  They were given tips and advice on staying safe near water in the winter months; then joined in with a quiz and activities such as a water safety activity sheet.

Head teacher at Holy Cross Catholic  Primary School, Karen Salter said: “At Holy Cross we understand how important the winter water safety messages given by the Roadshow team are.  We are excited to be working with Better Swindon to help keep our children safe this winter.”

Jennie Maccready, Better Aquatics Officer and roadshow leader added: “With the flooding and freezing weather we have experienced in recent weeks, the importance of teaching children how to be safe around water during the coldest months of the year is particularly salient.

“A frozen lake or pond can be beautiful but too often, people risk their lives by venturing into the water.  While floods and thawing ice present their own problems, from contamination to the risk of being swept away.”

Drowning prevention charity The Royal Life Saving Society offers the following water safety advice to all ages:

  • Teach children not to go on to frozen water under any circumstances
  • Children and pets are particularly at risk when tempted to play on the ice
  • Pets should be kept on leads when near frozen water and owners refrain from throwing objects onto ice for them to retrieve
  • Keep back from the edge when walking alongside water
  • Only use well lit areas and time your walks to make the most of the daylight
  • Don’t go on the ice to rescue a dog, move to somewhere that the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you
  • When you’re out and about, plan ahead and ensure you’re familiar with basic emergency procedures
  • Listen out for local weather reports and wherever practical, adhere to traffic alerts

Once everything has started to thaw, flood hazards bring their own set of problems:

  • Never try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock an adult over and two feet of water will float a car
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water or flood water – you may get swept away or be struck or caught up in an object in the water
  • Never allow children or pets to go near or play in flood water. It is hazardous and may be contaminated with chemicals
  • Keep an eye on weather reports for flooding in your area. Do not travel in heavy rainstorms or snowstorms unless absolutely necessary
  • Prepare a flood kit in case your home floods or you are trapped in a vehicle for any period. This can contain a change of clothing, wellies, waterproofs and blankets as well as a torch (and batteries), charged mobile, radio, medication and a first aid kit and a list of useful numbers, including flood alert lines.

For further information or to arrange a Water Safety Roadshow visit to your school or community group contact: jennie.maccready@gll.org

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