COLUMN: Summer holiday hijinks quickly turn into disaster for Derbyshire kids

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Schools out for summer! Yes, the summer holidays are now upon us which means your kids will be spending more time at home and out and about in the local area.

As adults we are not only extremely jealous that our kids have six weeks off, but we are responsible for teaching them about the dangers they may be faced with on a daily basis.

I’m sure many of you will have heard the recent tragic story of 12-year-old Owen Jenkins, who unfortunately died after jumping into the River Trent, trying to save a young girl who had got into difficulty.

With this in mind, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind parents/guardians about the potential dangers children may be faced with this summer outside of the school playground.

Open water may look tempting especially on hot days, but in reality it can be very dangerous. Swimming outdoors is completely different to a warm swimming pool. The dangers include very cold temperatures, hidden currents, fast-flowing water, deep water, and hidden dangers such as reeds, rubbish and debris which can trap, snag or cut.

There are no lifeguards, if children get into difficulty there may not be anyone who is trained to save them.

Swimming and tombstoning into open water is a dangerous and life threatening activity that can have serious consequences.

When you consider rocks and other debris may be hidden under the surface of the water, jumping into them head or feet first can result in serious injury or death.

A 15-year-old boy tragically drowned while swimming in a disused quarry near Ashover in 2009.

More than 400 children under the age of 11 are injured and four are killed in accidental fires in the home in England every year.

This just goes to show how important it is to teach children about potential fire dangers in and around the home.

They must remember -

n Don’t play with matches, lighters, candles, electrical appliances or sockets.

n Tell a parent/guardian if they see matches or lighters lying around.

n Be careful near fires and heaters. Never switch on the cooker.

n Not to touch saucepans.

n Not to put things on top of heaters or lights.

For further information about keeping safe this summer visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/keeping-safe/