Water safety with holidays and day trips in mind

May 31, 2024

When you are on holiday there are lots of opportunities to be in and around water. Countryside / walking holidays with rivers, lakes and reservoirs, beach holidays with the sea and hotel / holiday park holidays with swimming pools and splash / water parks.

Wherever you are, home or abroad, it is important that water safety remains a priority.

Before you go on holiday it is a good idea to test and refresh your swimming ability, particularly if it’s been a while since you have been swimming.


At the beach

  • Know your beach safety flags and pay attention to them.
  • Choose a lifeguarded beach where possible. That gem of a secluded beach is not always the safest option.
  • Dress your children in something bright and distinctive; it is easier to keep an eye on them.
  • Agree a meeting point, make sure your children know what to do if they get lost.
  • Check the tide times so you don’t risk getting cut off.
  • Never jump into the water e.g., from cliffs/ piers. Cold water shock can kill, there may be rocks underwater that you can’t see, and tides and currents can mean that water depths change rapidly.
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol
  • Inflatables, although fun, can be easily swept out to sea. Keep them in the pool.
  • Closely supervise your children
  • Know what to do if you get into trouble. Locate the nearest lifeguard station and know the emergency number to call for the country you are in.

At the pool

  • Know your pool – before you get in check the depth, note the deepest point, check for lifeguards / location of safety equipment.
  • Remember arm bands and rubber rings are not safety devices and do not prevent drowning.
  • Never leave children unsupervised in or near the water even if there is a lifeguard present.
  • Clear trip hazards (toys, inflatables etc) from around the pool
  • Do not drink alcohol around the pool when supervising children. It is very easy to feel drowsy / fall asleep after drinking in the sun.
  • Reapply sunscreen regularly, even the waterproof and all day types lose their effectiveness very quickly.
  • Sun protection suits and hats are a great idea for protecting your children from the sun and drinking lots of water will help to prevent dehydration.

Inland water

  • Don’t go near weirs, locks, pipes, and sluices. These are often linked with strong currents.
  • Don’t go too far, staying close to the shore / edge means its easier to return to the shore if required and can be spotted more easily.
  • Currents in the water can be very strong. If you get caught in a current resist the urge to swim against it as you will get tired very quickly. Swim with the current and call for help.
  • Never swim alone. Always bring a friend with you when you go swimming.
  • Look for signs. If there is a sign telling you not to swim DO NOT enter the water.