Keep children safe

I’m a dad and, like other dads, enjoyed all the attention I received from my little ones on Father’s Day at the weekend.

For the rest of the year though, it’s all about them and I wouldn’t have it any other way. A major driver for my policing efforts is to make sure the Worksop community, in which I also live, is a safe place to be.

And on this note, I’d like to talk about how we can all help to improve the safety of all our children this summer.

I have received worrying reports of young people playing along the Chesterfield Canal and jumping into the water from the edge of locks.

I appreciate that visiting our inland waterways is fun and rewarding for families and children. We are indeed very lucky to have such beautiful locations to visit when the sun shines. But while they may be Worksop’s Eden, these waterways are also dangerous places, and although the water looks enticing, especially in the warmer weather, it holds hidden hazards.

To ensure your loved ones stay safe and are not counted in the drowning figures for 2012 I urge you and your family to heed to following water safety advice:

* If you live or spend time at or near waterways it is prudent to know how to swim. If you can’t swim, seek lessons. It’s an important skill to have and could save your life.

* Only swim at waterways monitored by trained lifeguards.

* At least 22% of people who drown fall into the water by accident, for example while out fishing, running or walking. When around water, stay away from the edge. Banks can sometimes collapse or you could lose your footing.

* Remember that lakes and rivers remain cold all year round. Shallow areas just a few metres from the shore can be warm and still, but they do not reflect the cooler temperatures and strong currents further out.

* Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket during activities on the water or at the water’s edge, this includes fishing.