“Knowing what to do if someone accidentally falls in cold water could mean the difference between life and death.” – Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board
Swimming and classroom lessons should teach children about the dangers of cold water shock, as new figures show a 25 per cent rise in the number of young people drowning accidentally, council leaders urged today.
With school holidays approaching and current warm weather, the Local Government Association (LGA) is warning how even strong and confident swimmers can struggle and drown after jumping into cold and unpredictable seas, rivers, canals and lakes where temperatures can be as low as 15C in the summer – half that of typical swimming pools heated to 30C.
The LGA is also urging the Government to make “near-miss” statistics – sourced from fire and rescue service data – available for inclusion in the Water Incident Database to improve its effectiveness, as these figures are currently excluded from it. Councils believe this will help to identify the scale and nature of risk, which could be understated
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