Cold Water Shock – Be Aware!
With the school holidays upon us it is important that both children and adults are aware of the dangers of Cold Water Shock, as new figures show the number of young people under 20 who drowned accidentally in the UK rose by almost a quarter last year, from 25 in 2017 to 31 in 2018. The figures also show that in June to August alone there were 103 accidental drownings across all age groups.
Cold Water Shock, which can affect breathing and movement and cause heart attacks, even in the relatively young and healthy, is one of the biggest causes of drowning and can take hold when people enter cold seas, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water. Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C, under half the temperature of an average swimming pool. Rivers such as the Thames are colder – even in the summer. For further advice see the RNLI website.