Portsmouth families called to fill in their garden ponds to stop tots drowning

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FAMILIES in Portsmouth with children under six are being urged to fence off, cover or fill in their ponds to prevent tragedy from striking.

With summer inching ever closer, family safety charity RoSPA hopes that all those who have young children visiting their gardens will think about taking steps to prevent youngsters from drowning.

David Walker, leisure safety manager at RoSPA, said: ‘Children under six are most vulnerable to drowning in the home and garden as they are naturally inquisitive and drawn to water, and at this age cannot get themselves out of trouble if they fall in.

‘Once they reach the age of six this vulnerability disappears, so any changes to garden ponds need only be temporary.

‘Remember, it only takes seconds for a child to escape attention, make their way to the water and tragedy to strike.’

The charity recommends filling in ponds and creating a sandpit. At the very least, the ponds should be fenced off securely or covered with a rigid grille.