The last few weeks have seen millions of families up and down Britain heading to our coastlines to make the most of the summer heat wave and while swimming in the sea is one of the most looked to activities for children during the warmer months, there are concerns that many kids could be in danger because of a lack of awareness about the different challenges swimming in open water present compared to swimming in a pool.
Research by the ASA shows that one in five parents of children 12 and under say their child has got into trouble in the water, with one in 14 saying it was a serious incident. The research follows recent WAID figures which show a 10% increase in the number of people under 20 who drowned in 2013, accounting for 12% of all deaths.
Most fatalities occur in open water or in the sea but the research shows many parents wrongly believe if their child can swim in a pool they will be safe in the sea.
To make sure children can enjoy swimming in the sea this summer safely, the ASA has joined with the RNLI and to launch Swim Safe, an open water safety initiative on beaches to give people confidence about swimming in the sea.