Simple tasks like moving a plug out of reach or emptying a bucket filled with rainwater could mean the difference between life and death, the drowning prevention charity has warned.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) says, as the finer weather approaches and people begin to spring clean their homes, it is an ideal time to consider the importance of water safety around the home – particularly where children are concerned.

Drowning is the third biggest cause of accidental death in children in the UK and drowning in baths was the joint highest cause of drowning of those under four-years-old in 2012, along with boating accidents.


Although all drowning cases are not around the home, accidents in the home are often the most easily preventable and people must be aware that there can be any number of drowning hazards.

RLSS UK Director of Lifesaving, Adrian Lole, said: “Water safety around the home should be a priority for everyone and, although advice around hazards may seem like common sense, there are many dangers that may not be so obvious. It is also important to remember that someone can drown is as little as 2cm of water.

“Most drowning incidents could be prevented, especially those around the home, and we would urge everyone to follow some simple advice and steps to ensure a child they love does not become part of next year’s statistics.”

Ten Top Tips for Water Safety at Home

  • Never leave a child unsupervised around water, under any circumstances
  • Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to ponds and pools of water. Check and maintain fences and fixings regularly and never leave chairs or objects near to fencing that children could use to climb over
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Empty paddling pools, buckets, watering cans and other containers as soon as they have been used. Always turn them upside down once empty
  • Always supervise bath time – never leave children unattended in or around the bath for any reason including answering the phone or to get a towel
  • Empty the bath as soon as possible after use and always remove toys from the bath and remove plugs, placing out of reach of children
  • Close lids to toilets, use toilet seat locks and keep doors to bathrooms and utility rooms closed
  • Check other water containers around the home are empty, out of reach or inaccessible to children, these could include mop buckets or dog bowls
  • Vulnerable adults and people who suffer from sudden seizures should consider using showers rather than baths
  • Learn CPR and lifesaving skills – RLSS UK has a variety of course and awards available for all ages and needs