As the holiday season begins, it is important that we look forward to and enjoy our holidays, but also that we stay safe whilst we are away. Many children are injured every year in hotel swimming pools, and sadly sometimes these accidents can be fatal. It is important that if you’re planning to go away this year, you make sure your child is safe around the pool. This can either be in hotels, at private holiday villas or homes, at campsites or at apartment complexes.
Children between the ages of 0-3 years are most at risk of drowning in holiday swimming pools. This is often because they are toddling around and wander away from parents and fall into pools that are not supervised. Most accidents for children aged 4-5 years happen as children are playing near or in water and for children aged 6-9 years, accidents usually happen whilst they are swimming in the pool.
It is vitally important that when we are away and relaxed, we still stay vigilant to the dangers that water presents. Parents need to ensure that children are fully supervised around water. Often when children are drowning they sink below the water without making noise or drawing attention to themselves. It is important to keep an eye on your children at all times when they are near water.
Lifeguards abroad often cannot be relied on to keep children safe. Many hotel pools have a lifeguard, or a pool attendant, but watching the pool may not be their only job. They may also be in charge of keeping the pool area clean and tidy, as well as handing out pool towels. Never presume that because there is a lifeguard present, your child will be completely safe.
If you are staying in a private villa or holiday home, it is also advisable to check if there are adequate fences or barriers to prevent children from going near to water without your supervision. Many accidents in villa pools are as a result of children going swimming without the knowledge of their parents.
Keep vigilant throughout your holiday – most drowning accidents happen on either the first or last day of the holiday. On day one children may be eager to go exploring and may wander towards the water. On the last day there is the distraction of packing up and preparing to return home. Always ensure you know where your child is and that they are safe.
What you can do to improve safety before your holiday:
- Look at all the safety arrangements at a hotel/complex before you arrive (including if there is a trained lifeguard).
- Make sure your child knows never to go swimming on their own.
- Check if villas have safety barriers or fences before booking your holiday.
What you can do to improve safety whilst you are away:
- Always supervise children in or near water.
- Ensure safety gates are locked and closed properly to limit access to the pool area.
- Be aware of where your children are and what they are doing.
- Do not use inflatables as a swimming aid for children who cannot swim and leave them unsupervised.
Make sure your children know:
- All safety rules around swimming and the use of swimming pools.
- Not to dive into swimming pools where there is no sign to indicate the depth of the pool. Always jump in feet first.
- Do not push or jump on other people using the swimming pool.
- Know where to get help from in the event of an emergency.
These things may seem common sense to many of us, but once we are on holiday even simple things can slip our minds. Make sure your child’s safety around swimming pools is at the forefront of your mind to avoid accidents.
Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist holiday accident compensation solicitors. We can help you if you have been injured in an accident whilst on holiday. Call our specialist solicitors on 0800 612 7340 to start your claim today. All enquiries are completely free, with no obligation. What’s more, all our holiday accident claims are taken on a no win no fee basis, so there’s no financial risks to you.