8 tips on minimising the risk of drowning
The Netherlands abounds in water. In the Netherlands, boys and girls learn to swim at a young age. You can swim and enjoy the water in many places, but always make sure it is safe. Do you plan to go to the water (with the children)? If so, follow the tips below to minimise the risk of drowning.
- Swim where you are allowed to and inform the people back home of your whereabouts. Check www.zwemwater.nl for a swimming spot nearby.
- Only swim in open water where lifeguards (of the Reddingsbrigade) are present. Observation provides additional prevention and reduces the risk of drowning. Do keep in mind, however, that this is never a guarantee.
- Keep a constant eye on young children in particular. Do not let them swim or play in the water unattended (and never swim alone, either). Stay in the water at arm’s length from your (small) child and preferably in front of the safety float line, which is safer.
- Caution your child about potential dangers, give specific instructions, and make arrangements. Are you, or is your child a poor swimmer? Provide inflatable water wings around the upper arms or a swimming jacket. Do not go any further than the shallow end, i.e. up to your child’s knees in the water.
- Be aware of currents, waves, and deep and cold water. Especially in spring, the water outside is still icy.
- When the wind blows towards the water, do not use floating objects, a swimming jacket, or water wings.
- The very beginning of safe swimming is swimming lessons and a swimming certificate. Decide to learn to swim, or have your child learn to swim at an early age. In this way, the first skills are learned, increasing the chances of your child not panicking and being able to save himself. Go to www.allesoverzwemles.nl/en/swimming-class-locator and ask a swimming class provider in your area.
- Keep swimming so that you don’t forget how to swim.