Sandwell has lots of open water including lakes, pools, ponds, canals and rivers.
These areas can be particularly inviting during periods of warm weather and people are often tempted to swim in them.
Water may feel warm on the surface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold, even in the hot weather and can very quickly cause severe cramp and hypothermia.
Young people can often misjudge their swimming ability - they may view a river or lake as a tempting means of cooling off during a hot spell of weather, but fail to appreciate the harmful effects that the cold water can have on their stamina and strength.
Due to these dangers, we are urging people, particularly children and teenagers, not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools.
Key safety tips for staying safe near water
The following are some key safety tips for staying safe near water:
- Alcohol and swimming do not mix - stay out of the water if you have been drinking. Don't drink and drown.
- Always watch your child around open water.
- Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds or any type of open water.
- Do not swim near boats or other water craft.
- Never interfere with lifesaving equipment - you might need it yourself.
- Learn to spot and keep away from dangerous water.
- Take safety advice - heed notices which warn you of the danger.
- Children should always visit open water sites with a grown-up.
- Swimming anywhere other than at purpose built and supervised swimming pools is highly dangerous and is not recommended, unless as part of an organised club.
Join a club for open water swimming
For anyone wishing to pursue open water swimming there are a number of clubs that offer supervised sessions.
To find out more or to locate a club near to you visit: