'Don't take the risk' warning against open water swimming as heatwave hits Wakefield
As the Met Office issue a hot weather alert for this weekend, Wakefield Council is urging everyone to be aware of the risks of cooling off or playing in ponds, lakes and flooded quarries.
It is dangerous to swim in places that are not specially created for swimming.
Although open water can look inviting on hot days, there are often hidden dangers underneath, such as discarded waste that can entrap people, as well as slippery rocks and changes in water depth. Water can also be dangerously cold when it gets deeper.
Coun Maureen Cummings Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “During hot weather some people may be tempted to go into the water for what appears to be a cooling dip, but swimmers have no idea of what is under the surface.
“Tangles of weeds and rubbish could ensnare a swimmer and put them in danger of drowning or severe injury. The water can also become dangerously cold when it gets deeper. If you see anyone in danger please call 999 immediately.”
The council is also asking people to be aware of another summer time hazard - the potential for damaging fires being caused by countryside barbecues.
Coun Cummings said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this summer, and make the most of the sunshine. So please have fun but be careful and if you are having a barbecue only use a purpose-manufactured one and be careful of where you site it.”
With the hot weather expected to continue into next week, the council is encouraging people to stay hydrated and keep cool - safely.
Hot weather can drive up the body’s temperature and lead to over-heating. This can make people feel hot, dizzy and disorientated.
Stay safe and keep well by:
• Keeping out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
• Covering up – by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses
• Wearing light, loose-fitting cotton clothes
• Having plenty of cold drinks, but avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Coun Cummings said: “It’s important to enjoy the sun safely and take extra precautions during the hot weather. Please remember to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and stick to the shade during the hottest time of the day.
“Please also look out for those who may be particularly vulnerable in the hot weather – such as those with long-term health conditions and the elderly. If you have any concerns about them please contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503 or in the event of an emergency call 999.”
For more advice on staying safe this summer visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/summersafe