Irish Water Safety calls for uptake of primary school programme

Safety body calls for uninterrupted child supervision around water over Easter break

An IWS spokesman said constant responsible parental supervision guarantees child safety yet drownings occur every year when children escape the watchful eye of guardians. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

An IWS spokesman said constant responsible parental supervision guarantees child safety yet drownings occur every year when children escape the watchful eye of guardians. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

 

Irish Water Safety (IWS) is calling for uninterrupted child supervision in aquatic environments over the Easter break and a greater uptake by teachers of its primary school water safety programme.

Every year the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland issues 40,000 primary-school water safety certificates.

This means more than 450,000 children have yet to receive this training, an official component of the curriculum. The programme is classroom-based with free resources. An IWS spokesman said constant responsible parental supervision guarantees child safety yet drownings occur every year when children escape the watchful eye of guardians.

“Children are naturally curious about water, so parents should check if their local primary school has introduced Irish Water Safety’s Primary Aquatics Water Safety ‘Paws’ programme, which is a component of the primary school curriculum that teaches children how to stay safe around water.”

An analysis of drownings over 25 years, found that 62 per cent occur inland. It also found one-third of victims had consumed alcohol.

IWS says boating enthusiasts should ensure everyone on board wears a life jacket at all times. When children are taken boating, it is essential that they wear a life jacket. More advice, geared towards children, is available at www.aquaattack.ie.