Next week, April 29th to 5th May, is Drowning Prevention Week. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, why it matters and what you can take away from it.
What is Drowning Prevention Week?
Drowning Prevention Week is an annual event led by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), a service set up in 2017 to bring together all fire and rescue services across the United Kingdom to develop and deliver the Fire Reform Agenda.
Every year, the NFCC helps to raise awareness of important issues that can help keep us all safe as we go about our daily lives. This includes Drowning Prevention Week, which will be taking place for the third consecutive year next week.
During this week, the NFCC will be running a campaign to spread awareness of drowning risks and dangers that can affect us all. As well as making us aware of the everyday dangers, the campaign aims to provide tips on avoiding such situations and how to respond to an incident should you ever find yourself in trouble.
Why does Drowning Prevention Week matter?
Although we all hope it will never happen to us, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death across the country. Last year alone, 255 people died by accidentally drowning in the UK. In half of these cases, the victims involved were not taking part in water-based sports or activities but simply going about their daily lives. Just under 50% of them were simply running or walking near water when the accidents happened.
Most drowning-related deaths happen while people are going about their day to day lives, and Drowning Prevention Week hopes to make people safer by raising awareness of such dangers. This includes teaching people what to do should they accidentally fall into water and how to help somebody who is at risk of drowning, as well as knowing how to recognise and avoid any potential risks.
Be Water Aware
The risk of drowning doesn’t just exist at home; in 2017, a further 75 Brits became victims of drowning while travelling outside of the UK. For this reason, the campaign aims to raise awareness of water risks both at home and on holiday.
The campaign is using the hashtag #BeWaterAware to get the conversation started and raise awareness among as many individuals as possible. The NFCC is also calling on British universities to speak to students about the risk of drowning and how to stay safe around water, particularly in new or unfamiliar environments.
For more information about Drowning Prevention Week 2019, check out the NFCC campaign page here.