NHS urges summer safety awareness to keep children out of danger

NHS services are urging local people to be more alert to risks associated with warm weather this summer.

NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and funds the majority of health services provided to local people, are supporting a summer safety video, entitled ‘Keep your kids live and kicking this summer’.

The video highlights the risks of leaving babies and infants unsupervised near water or open windows, particularly when parents and carers can be distracted.

Babies and infants need constant supervision around water – whether this is in the bath, paddling or swimming pool, by ponds, rivers or lakes. They also need supervision around open windows.

Debbie Hartrick, the CCG’s Director for Safeguarding, said: “While incidents of drowning or near drowning are rare, it is really important that the safety of infants and children around water and open windows remains at the forefront of our minds, especially with the warmer days ahead.

“Pools, ponds and baths can keep your kids cool in the hot weather. However, water can also be dangerous for children if parents and carers don’t pay attention.

“With more and more families still spending more time at home due to Covid-19, we know that children will be playing in garden paddling pools and it’s important that they do so safely.”

She added: “Young children can drown in less than two inches (six centimetres) of water, in only 20 seconds. If they are very young, you won’t even hear them. They can slip under the water without making a splash or a sound.

“Young children don’t understand that a fall can kill them – just as they don’t understand that water can kill them.”

“Getting distracted by a mobile phone, talking to other people, or wandering off when your child is around water can lead to tragedy.

“By spreading these key messages, we can all help to keep our young children live and kicking this summer.”

The video was first launched by commissioners in the east of Berkshire in 2017 and has been widely shared over the years.