How to stay safe over the summer holidays

Peterborough Lido
Peterborough Lido
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Youngsters across the city will shortly be finishing school for the summer and embarking on a long and hopefully sunny six week break, writes Rob Hill, assistant director for public protection at Peterborough City Council, in the City Beat column.

It’s a long time since I was in school but this was always my favourite time of year and I would be counting down the days until the end of term!

The summer holidays give children the chance to get out and about and enjoy some fresh air and exercise and there’s always plenty to do in the local area.

We want everyone to have as much fun as possible, whilst staying safe at the same time.

With that in mind, I’m going to focus this month’s column on some summer safety tips.

Now first of all, it may sound basic, but if your children are going out with their mates, make sure they know how to cross roads properly. And if they’re going out on bike rides, make sure their bicycles are properly maintained or given a service if they haven’t been used for a while.

It’s worth reminding younger children on bikes to stay off roads and stick to cycleways as much as possible.

If you’re planning on being outdoors with your kids for a prolonged amount of time, take some suncream and plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

If your child gets separated from you in public, a police officer would be a good person for them to ask for help. If not, children should look for a mum or dad with their own kids, as they’re likely to want to help and have a good idea of what to do.

If your child gets separated from you and someone is making them feel uncomfortable, then they should be encouraged to make a scene in order to attract attention.

Again it may sound basic, but it’s well worth reminding older children who have their own phones of the emergency services contact numbers.

We would also advise making older children aware of the dangers of swimming in open water, lakes and rivers on their own at this time of year.

The prospect of a nice cooling swim on a boiling hot day is always a tempting one, but often youngsters overestimate their swimming ability and fail to take into account the things you can’t see under the surface like currents or reeds.

So older children should be told never to swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.

If your child is going to be swimming in open water as part of an activity then make sure they will be wearing a life jacket and are supervised at all times.

Diving into water can be particularly dangerous and should never be done unless an adult is present who knows the depth of the water is greater than five feet.

It’s worth teaching children to dive with their hands in front of their face and to swim towards the surface immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom.

Teach them also to dive only from the edge of diving boards at swimming pools and never let them dive from rooftops, balconies, ledges or fences.

If you see anyone in difficulty in water never attempt to enter the water yourself. Instead see if there is a life ring nearby that can be thrown to them and call the emergency services.

For further information about staying safe in and around water visit https://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/water-safety/.

Finally, we usually see a rise in complaints about noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour during the summer. So we would like to remind everyone to please be respectful of other people who might be nearby.

You can report incidents of noise nuisance to Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474 or online at www.peterborough.gov.uk.

Incidents of ant-social behaviour should be reported to Police on 101.