Youngsters warned over water dangers

YOUNGSTERS who fish, cycle or spend time near water have been urged to take care this holiday.

YOUNGSTERS who fish, cycle or spend time near water have been urged to take care this holiday.

The Environment Agency has issued advice to young people about staying safe during the summer holidays and avoiding the dangers of fast-currents, weirs and locks, cold water, and unstable riverbanks.

Irven Forbes, a waterways manager at the agency, said: “Water claims the lives of more than 50 children a year in the UK.

“In fact, drowning is the third most common accidental death among Britain's under 16s, behind road accidents and house fires.

“We have worked hard to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of swimming in rivers however the statistics show that there is still work to do to get the message across that the hazards are often hidden, and underestimating the dangers of water can have tragic consequences.”

He said his top ten tips of safety were: don't jump or dive into rivers, be aware of strong currents, take notice of safety information, realise water can be very cold throughout the year, keep away from river edges, wear safety equipment, beware the dangers of using floatation devices, not drinking too much alcohol, getting trained in life saving skills and teaching children to swim.