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Beavers do water safety 18 Jun 2024 (1st Eynsham Beaver Scouts) We had a lovely walk by the river, and discussed the water safety code.

As the weather (finally) gets more summer-like many of us start to have fun near in or on the water. Eynsham Beaver Scouts hiked the Wharf Stream Way yesterday, and used it as a chance to discuss how to stay safe by the water.

We were walking by the water, not doing anything involving it. So the simplest and best safety precaution is Stay Away From (the) Edge, and that way you're SAFE!

But of course if you only ever did that you'd miss out on all kinds of water-based sports, hobbies and fun. So we discussed what more we need.

To avoid getting into difficulties in the first place, the key thing for young people to know is the Water Safety Code:

But what if you do end up in the water (especially if you hadn't meant to go in)? If someone does fall into the the water, it's often cold enough to trigger "cold water shock". So we also discussed the RNLI's "Float to Live" campaign. The RNLI says:

"If you found yourself struggling in the water unexpectedly, your instinct would tell you to swim hard. But cold water shock could make you gasp uncontrollably. Then you could breathe in water and drown. Instead, you should Float to Live. 

The best way to float is to tilt your head back with your ears submerged. Try to relax and breathe normally. You can gently move your hands to help you stay afloat if you need to. Spread your arms and legs out to improve stability – and it's OK if your legs sink, we all float differently. Once your breathing is under control, call for help or swim to safety.

So it's important to know to how to float until the shock wears off and you can manage your next steps. Here's how:

We hope that nobody at Beavers ever needs to use these skills in emergency, but it is best to Be Prepared! 

We don't do water sports or water activities at Beavers usually. But there are opportunities to do them later in Scouting. And then we have supervision by properly trained instructors, and use the appropriate safety equipment and techniques for the activity.

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