The Scottish Fire and Rescue service would normally have launched a water safety programme earlier in the year and visited Strathaven Academy talking to our S2/S3 pupils about the dangers of cold-water shock. This, of course, has not been possible this year but unfortunately, the risks being taken in and around water still exist and are perhaps greater than ever as so many other activities are restricted. As a result, the Scottish Fire and Rescue service have asked us to share the following information with our school community to encourage all to be safe in and around water:
Any water below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement. Water temperatures in Scotland rarely rise to more than 12°C even in warm weather! This cold water could leave someone helpless in seconds. Your body reacts to cold water by:
1. Increasing breathing (hyperventilation)
2. Blood pressure increases causing panic
3. Heart beats faster and could result in a heart attack even in those young and healthy
All this could happen to anyone – it doesn’t matter how fit and healthy you are or how well you can swim!
The link below is a 2-minute video on Twitter of a teenager explaining how he got into trouble in cold water, published by the RLSS (the UK Drowning Prevention Charity):
The same charity also have a water safety toolkit aimed at families and this can be accessed by clicking here.