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Student nurse points out the dangers of disrespecting the water

Image shows a woman holding a poster

Now school’s out for the summer, a student nurse has used her initiative to warn children, looking to take a dip, to be aware of the dangers of disrespecting the water.

Third-year Swansea University student nurse Victoria Laurie has created a water safety display outside the Children’s Emergency Unit in Morriston Hospital.

It provides children, parents and passers-by with simple information on how to stay safe while enjoying being in the water this summer.

Whether it’s chilling out in a paddling pool at home, making the most of a local lido or enjoying a dip in the sea, there are always dangers associated with water – particularly within lakes and marinas.

With parents and children ready to make the most of the good weather over the summer, Victoria’s information is perfectly timed.

Image shows a woman standing in front of posters Pictured: Student nurse Victoria Laurie in front of her water safety display.

“I created the display to raise awareness of water safety during the summer holiday because more people will be at areas such as the beach particularly during a spell of nice weather,” said Victoria.

“The messages are particularly relevant to teenage children, who may swim alone or think it’s fine to play in areas such as marinas and lakes, but in fact they can be very dangerous.

“I spent time researching water safety in depth on the RNLI’s website, and the display is designed to appeal to all ages because it affects us all.

“It is really important that everyone has an understanding of water safety and are aware how water can be enjoyed safely, to prevent any tragedies.

“Hopefully the water safety wall will make people think before going into the water this summer and, in turn, reduce the number of patients we see for this type of incident.”

Victoria’s display includes information on the risks of swimming alone, the dangers connected to rip tides along with the importance of knowing tide times and entering water between lifeguard’s flags on the beach.

Her work and desire to raise awareness has been praised by her colleagues.

Image shows two women holding posters Pictured: Victoria Laurie with matron Rachel Newton.Rachel Newton, matron of Morriston Hospital’s Emergency Department, said: “We are delighted with the initiative shown by Victoria in promoting the importance of water safety, and are proud of her work.

“She spent time researching all of the key points to raise, and it’s a timely reminder, during the school holidays, that children and adults need to respect water.

“With the display on show just outside the Children’s Emergency Unit, it means it is seen by a lot of parents and young patients and is delivering vital messages.”

 
 

 

 

Water safety tips
Do Don't

Float to live

If you find yourself struggling in the water, or if you fall in unexpectedly, you should float to live. Lean back and use your arms and legs to float. Wait until you can control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. If you have children, it’s important to teach them to float too.

Swim alone

Swimming should only happen when a lifeguard is on duty. Lifeguards don't just watch the people in the pool, lake or ocean. Their job is also to watch the water and advise swimmers on any safety concerns. Otherwise, ensure you have a partner swimming with you.

Choose a lifeguarded beach

Choosing to visit a lifeguarded beach gives everyone the protection of highly-trained lifeguards. They can see the dangers develop, prevent accidents before they happen and respond instantly if anyone gets into difficulty.

Dive into lakes or marinas

This can be particularly dangerous as these areas can be very unpredictable. They may contain rocks, which could cause significant injuries, or may be shallower than first expected.

Know the risks and what to do

If the water looks rough, don’t go in! However, calm sea water is not always the best place to swim either. Many people inadvertently end up in a rip current as a result of entering water where there is no white water from waves. This is often where a rip is present, with ripples on the surface indicating a flow of water out to sea. So keep a close eye on the surface of the water before you go into the sea.

Consume alcohol and enter the water

Around one in eight coastal deaths in the UK involve alcohol, and it is a contributing factor in many more water-related incidents.

If you're going to drink, save it for after you've been in the water.

Alcohol can seriously impair your judgement, reactions and ability to swim.

 

Know your limits

If the water looks rough, don’t go in! However, calm water is not always the best place to swim. Many people inadvertently end up in a rip current as a result of entering water where there is no white water from waves. This is often where a rip is present, with ripples on the surface indicating a flow of water out to sea.

Risk your own life

If you see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112. You can also throw something that floats or that they can hold on to.

 

Use inflatables

While they may seem fun, there is a seriously dangerous element linked to them as they get swept out to sea - with you or your child on them.

Information for the above advice was taken from the following websites:

Follow this link for water safety tips from the RNLI website

To read water safety tips from the Royal Lifesaving Society, follow this link.

You can access more advice from the Met Office via this link

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