Safer Holidays: Commissioner Kuneva welcomes new water safety guidelines

According to the EU Press Room,”EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva today welcomed the publication of a report entitled ‘Protecting children and youth in water recreation: safety guidelines for service providers’, which gives basic but crucial advice for reducing water-related accidents, particularly when it comes to children on holidays. The report was drawn up by the European Child Safety Alliance, in cooperation with the Commission and Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, MEP Arlene McCarthy. Every year, there are around 200 000 swimming pool related accidents in the EU, and another 50 000 injuries related to boating and water sports. Drowning is the second highest cause of death in children and young people aged 0 to 18 years, and evidence shows that water accidents are higher amongst tourists than local residents. Most of these accidents and injuries, however, could be easily prevented through basic safety measures. Today’s report contains guidelines for water recreation service providers (hotel managers, rental providers, tour operators etc.), so that they can assess and, where necessary, upgrade their water safety standards. The recommendations include: checking the risks linked to the water-related area and activity, particularly for vulnerable users such as children; providing the appropriate equipment, such as floatation devices; communicating the risks and hazards clearly; and having well-trained staff and an emergency plan in place. Specific recommendations are also set out for certain water-sports, including snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, motor-boating and kite-surfing. The complete guidelines can be found at:”

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