The Canal & River Trust is urging young people not risk their safety by swimming in canals, rivers and open waters during hot summer weather.

It is highlighting the dangers of jumping into the water to cool down, warning of cold temperatures that can paralyse muscles making it difficult to swim.

Max Ward from the trust said: "It’s really important that people, especially children and teenagers, are aware of the dangers of going into the water. Taking a dip may be tempting but the consequences can be devastating.

“Inland waterways can look really inviting but you can’t tell what is below the surface. The water is often murky, and you won’t be able to see the depth or any obstacles in the water.

The charity is urging people to go to their local swimming pool instead.

Max said: "We’re asking people to find another way to cool off this summer – have an ice cream, cool drink or stay in the shade, but please don’t get in the water, it’s just not worth it.”

The Canal & River Trust Explorers water safety programme, which focuses on children in Key Stage 2, offers information and resources at

Dozens of volunteers nationwide help the trust each year by visiting schools and speaking to youth groups about water safety and their local canal or river.

In four years they have reached more than 125,000 children with water safety messages. These sessions have been impacted by the coronavirus restrictions but over the last four months, the team in Wales and the South West has engaged with nearly 800 children through virtual workshops.

To help with water safety education at home the Explorers team has compiled a range of free activities, resources and games which can be found at