Drowning Risks for the Under 5’s Highlighted By Council

Newry Mourne and Down District Council is highlighting the dangers of water for children, particularly for those under-5 as part of its support for The Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week.

Council Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said: “Very often when we think of children and the risk of drowning we relate this to a swimming pool or open waters. However, the stark reality is that most babies and young children who drown do so at home in the bath or in the garden and it can happen in as little as 3-5cm of water.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew. 

“Young children don’t yet appreciate the risks posed by water so are relying on adults to keep them safe. We are asking parents to take simple steps to reduce the risk of drowning.

“We want to remind parents and carers that it is never okay to leave children unattended in and around water—accidents can happen so quickly but can be easily prevented.”

*  There are a number of ways that parents and carers can prevent accidents.

* Never leave a child unattended in the bath or playing in a paddling pool – even for a second.

* Bath seats are not a safety aid.

* Always use a non-slip mat in the bath.

* Always pull the plug as soon as bath time is over.

* If you have a pond, you could turn it into a sandpit, fence it off, or securely cover it while your children are small.

* Always empty your paddling pool after use and remember to store it upside down – this also applies to buckets and pots that can collect water.

For parents with children under 5 who are concerned about safety in the home, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency, can carry out a free confidential Home Safety check.

For more information residents can email the Home Safety Officer at
ehealth@nmandd.org or call 0300 0132233.