As the nation prepares for a heat wave and with summer school holidays imminent we're urging children to stay safe by the water this summer.
Each year an average of 35 young children drown in the country’s inland waterways and coastal waters according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). We've announced a new initiative, Canal & River Explorers aimed at helping young people learn about and enjoy their local canal or river safely.
Around 10 million people, including many families, visit the waterways each year and the canals and rivers are more popular than ever. Although they may look tempting to cool off in on a hot summer’s day, we're urging young people to stay safe and keep out of the water.
Annette Simpson, education manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “Canals and rivers are brilliant places to go to on hot days, and excellent for families to explore during the holidays – I’d encourage anyone to make a visit this summer. But it’s also important that people, especially children, are aware of the risks water can pose. We are now teaching thousands of children through our education programmes each year and always urge parents to also make sure their children know how to stay safe – that way that they can get on and have some fun.”
We're urging families to be extra vigilant around inland waters such as canals, rivers and reservoirs. Although the water may look inviting on a hot summer’s day, any open body of water can pose a hazard as they may have hidden dangers lurking beneath the water. They can also be deep and the water quite cold which can quickly cause someone to get into trouble.
Linked to the National Curriculum, ‘Explorers’ is focussed on the Key Stage 2 age group and can also be used towards a number of Cubs Scout and Brownie badges. We're recruiting education volunteers nationwide to work with the Trust to deliver this important role to ensure children stay safe by the water and enjoy the wonders of the waterways in a safe way.
For further information visit www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk