How to RELAX at the pool this summer
We’re officially in the middle of a scorching hot summer, and as many of you will be cooling off in the pool either on holiday or at the local lido, it’s more important than ever to make sure you and your little one know basic swimming safety tips – especially in light of a recent study by the Safer Tourism Foundation (STF), as detailed below.
STF is a charity that helps to raise awareness and prevent illness, injury and accidents for Britons travelling abroad, and in their latest study they found that shockingly over 25 people drown in holiday pools every year - and that’s not all. They also found that nearly 500 people are involved in serious pool-related incidents every year with the majority of them involving children.
In their report, the STF stressed that while having a lifeguard provides strong reassurance, it does not guarantee a completely safe experience, despite 52% of people who took part in the study believing it did.
They also found:
- 1 in 12 (8%) holiday makers have witnessed a serious pool related incident
- 1 in 6 (16%) have heard about a pool related incident on holiday from someone they know
- Over a third of people (38%) say they worry about dangers related to the swimming pool when on holiday.
- Only 2 in 5 (40%) respondents think that safety around holiday pools is good enough.
- Less than half (44%) respondents think that they get adequate information and communications to use pools safely when on holiday.
- Less than half (43%) respondents think hotels and accommodation providers do enough to make pools safe when on holiday.
To help to try and tackle these worrying figures, they have come up with their own set of rules to stay safe in and around the pool called RELAX. They’re easy to remember and could potentially help to prevent accidents and save lives:
Recce the pool environment when you first arrive at your accommodation. Identify safety features, barriers, slides and chutes, deep and shallow end, whether there is a lifeguard if it’s a shared pool and when they’re on duty. Take a moment to enter the local emergency numbers into your phone when you arrive.
Eyes on the kids – keep a look out always (whether it’s you or someone you trust).
Lifesaving techniques. Make sure you or someone you are with knows how to save lives. There may not be a lifeguard where you are going, so learn some basic CPR.
Armbands – If they are needed, make sure they stay on at all times. Children often want to go back in the pool even when the time for swimming is over.
Explain to children how to use the pool safely. Take time to do this. It’s vital.
As well as the brilliant guidelines above, we believe it’s absolutely essential for all children to Learn to Swim in order to help them understand and practice water safety.