Pond safety advice



SPOT THE DANGERS: Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold outdoor water.

DON’T GO ALONE! Children should always go with an adult, not by themselves. An adult can point out dangers or help if somebody gets into trouble.

LEARN HOW TO HELP: You may be able to help yourself and others if you know what to do in an emergency.

(see above)

Prohibition Signs – a red circular prohibition sign, with a line through it and white lettering.

Warning Signs
– a warning sign of a yellow background and black lettering.

Mandatory signs – blue background and white lettering – a mandatory sign informing what must be done.

The dangers of water include:

  • it is very cold
  • there may be hidden currents
  • it can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)
  • it can be deep
  • there may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass
  • there are no lifeguards
  • it is difficult to estimate depth
  • it may be polluted and may make you ill.

For more information visit the RoSPa website

Ponds and concerns about safety

The number of accidental drownings in ponds is low, but small children are particularly at risk of drowning in garden ponds when there is a lapse in concentration by the supervising adult. Children aged between one and two years are most at risk as at this age a child’s mobility rapidly increases but co-ordination remains poor. It is not until the age of four or five that children can begin to understand the dangers and warnings. As a child’s age increases, the risk decreases (see RoSPA website for more information).

What you must do

  • Don’t let children pond dip unsupervised
  • Always be aware of dangers when visiting OTHER PEOPLE’S houses
  • Talk to children to make them aware of possible dangers
  • Remain vigilant. A large proportion of drownings are the result of accidental immersion in ponds due to slips and falls from the bank.

After dipping

  • Make sure you wash your hands afterwards, especially before handling food
  • If you use your kitchen sieve to do the Big Pond Dip make sure you wash it thoroughly if you are going to use it again. Or ideally get a different sieve that you just use for pond dipping.
  • Follow the check-clean-dry principle to ensure you do not contaminate other habitats.