With the holidays fast approaching, a Sutton Girls student has teamed up with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to encourage other young people across Birmingham to enjoy the summer while staying safe.

Sabrin Choudhury, aged 15, has spent the week with RoSPA in Edgbaston experiencing work life and researching further into the charity. Part of her work experience has been to research water safety and produce marketing adverts as well as a simple message to share with other young people.

She said: “On average 40 to 50 young people are killed each year in the UK due to drowning. Although water activities may seem fun and a great way to cool off, after looking at case studies and research, I now see numerous things to think about before you take the plunge.

“As a younger member of the community, I have had the chance to step into the shoes of RoSPA staff, and from looking at water activities from both perspectives I know that RoSPA is not trying to take away childhood risks. The message being portrayed is to have fun but think through the possible consequences of your actions.”  

Sabrin’s advice for young people in Birmingham: 

  • Don’t swim in unsupervised areas alone and consider swimming pools as your first option
  • At inland waters such as rivers, lakes and canals, it is important to look around for signs nearby to show what precautions need to be taken
  • Expect the water to be a lot colder than the air temperature you may be in
  • Next, the depth of the water needs to be considered - it may be a lot deeper or shallower then you are expecting
  • Think about harmful materials that may be under water such as broken glass and weeds, which could cut or trap you 
  • Think about the current. 

Sabrin’s tips for if a friend gets into trouble in the water:  

  • Always call the emergency services for help first
  •  Whichever way you do help a friend, it is most important to keep yourself safe as there is a chance that you may both end up in danger
  • Reach with a long object, such as a branch or stick, over to the person in the water; however make sure you are crouching low or are lying on your belly to ensure there is no chance of putting yourself in danger
  • Throw a rope if available so you can pull the person in although any other objects that float such as a ball or lifebuoy will keep the person afloat until help arrives
  • After testing the depth of the water you may wade in to reach out to the person, however hold onto something or someone else so you do not fall in
  • Once rescued keep your friend warm and receive seek emergency help.  

Sabrin added: “Have fun but stay safe!”  

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