Water Safety for People with Disabilities

Enjoying activities in and around water is something that many people enjoy. Swimming, boating, fishing, or even just wading through the waves can make for a fun day. However, everyone must take precautions when they are around water. This is especially true when you have a disability.  


Water can be dangerous, even very shallow water. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that you can drown in as little as one inch of water. To avoid these terrible mishaps, everyone should take the time to review the following questions.  


What Is Your Comfort Level Around Water?  


Understanding your comfort level will let you know what exactly you can do to remain safe. This also applies to helping someone with a disability enjoy water recreation. Know their level of comfort and know your level of comfort concerning assisting them. This is crucial to safety.  


Know Your Safety Equipment  


Do you know that there are different types of safety equipment for different types of water levels and activities? Make sure that you have the right life jackets and equipment for your event. Make sure that all flotation devices properly fit the person they were intended for prior to going out on the water.  


Water Level Tolerance  


Do not exceed your water level tolerance. If you are new to water activities, make sure that you go slowly through each level of water to see how you feel. First, you go ankle deep and then knee deep; next, waist deep, shoulder deep and, lastly, over your head. Stop at any level that makes you feel uncomfortable.  


Wear the Right Clothing  


Waterlogged clothing can become very heavy and lead to complications. It is very important that you have the right clothing on for water activities. There are many types of swimwear that you can purchase, including full-bodied suits for those going into colder waters. If you are in regular clothes, make sure that they are light clothing and breathable. This will keep excessive water from being absorbed if the clothes get wet.  


Sun Protection  


Many people forget that when the sun reflects off of the top of the water that the UV rays become more intensified. This means that when you are around water in any way, your chances for getting a sunburn are even higher. Make sure that you have sunscreen and apply it often and that you have a hat and sunglasses for extra protection.


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More information

Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).