Milton Keynes Council is urging the public not to swim in open water during warm weather, including in the Blue Lagoon in Milton Keynes.
The council’s community safety team is urging people not to go into any open water such as canals, rivers and lakes – and is advising that the only safe place to swim is at supervised swimming pools, where the water is clean and warm and there are lifeguards.
Around 85% of accidental drowning incidents occur at open water sites and many of these are due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of open water safety, said the council.
Although the water may look calm, under the surface there may be hidden dangers, such as weeds, rubbish or branches – or strong currents that could cause difficulty to a swimmer.
Despite the hot weather, open water may also be very cold and the shock of this to the body could be very dangerous.
Cold water shock is a physical response by the body when entering cold water, which can affect breathing, reduce muscle ability and even lead to heart attack.
Another risk is blue-green algae, which thrives during the summer months and exposure to this can cause serious health problems.
The council monitors growth of blue-green algae, but if exposed to it, swimmers could develop symptoms including skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, fever and headaches.
On occasion, swimmers may also develop more serious conditions such as liver and brain damage.
The algae can also be dangerous to animals – especially dogs.
Open water may also be contaminated with animal urine, which can also lead to health problems, including the parasitic gastrointestinal infection cryptosporidiosis – or E.coli and Salmonella infections.
Cryptosporidium is sometimes known as the “swimming pool illness” as swimmers may become ill if swimming pool water is not disinfected adequately and becomes contaminated with human faeces or animal faeces.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal infections include fever, headache and stomach cramps, before symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea occur. In some cases, those affected may feel weak and confused if they become dehydrated – medical attention should always be sought, especially for symptoms in the elderly, children, or in those with existing medical conditions, or if symptoms are particularly severe and do not improve within 24 hours.
Wild water swimming is becoming increasingly popular, but Milton Keynes Council is asking the public to call Thames Valley Police on 101 – or in an emergency, 999 – if people are seen swimming in lakes, ponds, the river or canals.
Duncan Lewis Personal Injury Solicitors
Duncan Lewis personal injury solicitors can advise those who suffer injury in swimming accidents caused by negligence on how to make a no win no fee claim for compensation – including swimming accidents which take place on package holidays or in England and Wales.
Claims for swimming accidents have to be made within three years – children can make personal injury claims up to the age of 21.
Duncan Lewis can advise on claims relating to swimming accidents which include poorly maintained swimming pools, public swimming pools, hotel swimming pools, school swimming classes, diving accidents, failure to provide lifeguards, sports accidents, drowning accidents and cryptosporidium infections.
Our specialist claims solicitors offer supportive legal advice to families whose loved one has lost their life in a drowning accident caused by negligence and who wish to make a claim.
For expert legal advice on no win no fee Swimming Accident Claims, call Duncan Lewis personal injury solicitors on 0333 772 0409