Water Safety Advice

Water Safety Advice

More than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland EVERY YEAR and many more have non-fatal experiences, sometimes suffering life-changing injuries.

Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), work tirelessly to educate people to enjoy water safely, to keep their families and friends safe and to know what to do in an emergency. They offer valuable support and counselling services to friends and families that have been affected by drowning incidents.

Learn how to keep you and your family safe with the following water safety advice.

Guide to water safety at home

In the garden

  • Never leave your child unattended around water. Babies can drown in as little as 2cm of water
  • Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted 
  • Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult 
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Empty paddling pools, containers, buckets and watering cans, as soon as they have been used
  • Always turn paddling pools and containers upside down once empty, so they do not collect water
  • Securely cover all hot tubs and home spas as soon as possible after use
  • Make sure older children are accompanied every time when they swim or use hot tubs
  • Always install self-closing and self-latching gates, fences of at least four feet tall surrounding all sides of any pool, and locks to prevent children from gaining access to home pools or pools of water
  • Install secure fencing around garden ponds (at least four feet high) to act as a barrier or add mesh or a grill on top of the pond (strong enough to support a child’s weight without dropping below the surface of the pond water)
  • Always turn hosepipes off at the tap, so children cannot fill vessels themselves


  • Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended) 
  • Empty the bath as soon as possible after use
  • Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning
  • Keep doors to bathrooms and utility rooms closed
  • Vulnerable adults and people who suffer from sudden seizures should consider using showers rather than baths

In residential swimming pools 

  • Children and weak swimmers should always be closely supervised by an adult
  • Weak swimmers should stay within the pool’s recommended safety depths
  • Never swim alone
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
  • Control access to the pool by using suitable fencing, secure doors and gates, and pool or gate alarms, to monitor access to swimming pools where possible
  • Never supervise children or enter the water yourself after drinking alcohol
  • Have easy access to suitable rescue aids such as a torpedo buoy, rope or reach pole (all available from RLSS Direct)
  • Know what to do in an emergency: learn first aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), take the Lifesaver • Lifechanger Toolkit
  • Always follow pool manufacturers advice for maintenance and safety checks

Open Water Safety Tips

The conditions at open water sites change constantly:

  • Always look for warning and guidance signs
  • Swim parallel with the shore, not away from it
  • Avoid drifting in the currents
  • Do not enter fast flowing water
  • Be aware of underwater hazards
  • Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
  • Never enter the water after consuming alcohol
  • Only enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket for activities on the water or at the water’s edge (such as when boating or fishing)
  • Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help
  • If someone is in difficulty in the water shout reassurance to them and shout for help and call the emergency services (call 999 or 112)
  • Without endangering yourself see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy or anything that will float

Click on the following links for further advice and activities –






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3 Responses to Water Safety Advice

  1. Eshal says:

    I’ve just learned a lot about swimming. That you should not swim alone and that if it says in the swimming centre that do not dive then you should not. But if you really want to then you can ask the lifeguards and they will answer you. You should not let a child in the child that you will supervise if you have drank alcohol. You should learn CPR so you can help people if they need help. Eshal 5K

  2. Aleksandr says:

    Now I will always follow these rules so i keep myself safe and so I don’t hurt myself when I go swimming. I also hope other children follow these rules so they stay safe to!

  3. Eesa says:

    This is such an amazing piece of advise! I have learnt so much and I have just found out how important it is to stay safe whilst staying near/in water. I think that the RLSS are doing a great job with spreading and teaching this message and I really hope that this message gets across the whole world faster so that less people are drowning especially the little ones!

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