"We all want our communities to be able to enjoy the open spaces and leisure facilities in their local areas and enjoying the water safely is something that we can all educate ourselves about."
The Local Government Association is pleased to support Drowning Prevention Week taking place 15-25 June. The week aims to ensure that everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near the water.
Last year 255 people lost their lives to accidental drownings, with many more having near-drowning experiences and some suffering life changing injuries. Children can be particularly affected, with drowning one of the leading causes of accidental death in children in the UK.
The LGA, which represents councils across England and Wales is launching a toolkit to help councils identify risks in their area and work with partners to help prevent future incidents.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board said
“Councils have a vital role in ensuring that people stay safe in water, and we are pleased to support Drowning Prevention Week.
“We all want our communities to be able to enjoy the open spaces and leisure facilities in their local areas and enjoying the water safely is something that we can all educate ourselves about.
“The need for education is important if our waterways and coastline are to be used safely. Especially when many people drown after having had no intention of going into particularly deep water or after entering the water on the spur of the moment.
“As we head towards Summer it is important that we understand the risks posed by water. Children and adults need to understand that being able to swim 50 metres in a calm, warm swimming pool does not mean they will survive if they fall in a cold canal or a fast flowing river while out jogging or taking their dog for a walk.
“The effects of cold water shock should never be underestimated because they are a leading cause of drownings in the UK as they limit everyone’s ability to swim and rescue themselves.”