PARENTS are being urged to know where their children are playing this summer in a bid to deter youngsters from swimming in open water.
With the summer holidays now underway, West Mercia Police has issued a warning to parents to educate their children about the dangers of open water and know where they are when playing out of sight.
During heatwaves police receive a big increase in calls about people getting into difficulties after jumping off bridges into rivers to cool off or swimming in reservoirs, pools, lakes, quarries and canals.
In July last year there were three open water deaths within the space of a week in the area.
Officers are also keen to highlight the risks to those walking or running alongside rivers and other water courses.
Supt Mark Travis said: “It might be very inviting in warm weather but swimming in unauthorised and unsupervised stretches of river or other open water is fraught with danger.
“The deaths we have experienced locally over the past year are a stark illustration of just how hazardous it can be.
“While those dangers are ever-present we are keen to highlight it now that the schools are breaking up for summer and children will have more time on their hands.
“A hot spell usually results in some youngsters making a beeline for stretches of open water and they need to be aware of the risks.”