12 Dips of Christmas Challenge Health and Safety Tips

Health and Safety Tips

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Go for a dip 12 times over the Christmas season and raise money for our life-saving research.

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Please read this safety advice in full and be aware participation is at your own risk. Whether you choose to take part in cold water dip in the sea, a lake, a loch, your bath or shower, it’s important you understand how to stay safe while fundraising for Cancer Research UK.   

  • If you are doing the challenge in open water (i.e., in the sea), never undertake this challenge alone. Please enjoy this challenge with others who can assist you should it be required. Always be aware of your location and take your mobile phone to wherever you are doing your dips.  

  • If you’re considering attempting this this challenge outside in open water, please check the weather forecast in advance and plan accordingly. Ensure you know the conditions and how to protect yourself and don’t partake if you don’t feel full confidence.  

  • If you are taking part alone at home (i.e., ice bath, cold shower, etc), then please let your family/friends know you are doing the challenge and ensure you know where to go for help should you need it.   

  • Always ensure you’ve taken a means of calling for help in case of emergency for you or someone you’re with.  

  • Check local advice on swimming areas and choose your locations carefully. Seek out locations which are familiar to you. Ensure it is safe for you to get in the water, and you can exit easily.  

  • This challenge is entirely at your own risk, so please assess your ability and safety before you participate. Cancer Research UK shall not be liable for any injury, damage or loss to you or your property that might occur as a result of your participation.  

  • If you have underlying health conditions (i.e., heart disease, asthma, lung conditions) or any other medical conditions that might be affected by exposure to cold water, or if you are pregnant, then please seek appropriate medical advice before proceeding  

  • Do not take part in the challenge under the influence of drugs or alcohol   

  • The minimum age for participation is 18. Anyone under this age should not undertake the 12 Dips of Christmas Challenge.  

  • Plan your dips in daylight hours and avoid dipping in the dark. 

  • Approach the challenge sensibly and don’t go beyond your capability levels to participate in the challenge. 

  • If you are dipping in open water, it’s advised that you wear brightly coloured clothes, including a brightly coloured swimming cap so you can be easily spotted. It will also help you retain body heat while in the water. 

  • If taking part in open water, you may also like to wear a wetsuit, which would aid buoyancy and make you feel more comfortable in the water. Neoprene boots and gloves are also a good addition to ensure your hands and feet do not get too cold.   

  • Always enter the water slowly and avoid jumping in as this could cause cold water shock. 

  • Seek help immediately if you feel very cold, woozy, nauseous, disorientated, dizzy or faint. 

  • In case of open water emergency, call 999 for help and ask for a coast guard 

  • Warm up gradually after getting out of the water, dry yourself off and put on warm, dry layers, have a warm drink and some food, and move to a warm location, especially if you’re swimming outside 


After your challenge  

  • Warm up gradually after getting out of the water, dry yourself off and put on warm, dry layers  

  • Avoid standing around, have a warm drink and some food, and move to a warm location  


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