Unfortunately in Canada, we need to have an annual National Drowning Prevention Week bringing attention and focus to drowning prevention. Each year, approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents. One drowning is one too many.
The following prevention tips were selected from major drowning risk factors in the 2018 Edition of the Lifesaving Society’s Canadian Drowning Report. We thought they should be shared with you:
• Watch me, not your phone. Always directly supervise children around the water – if you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.
• Be Boat Smart – Wear a Lifejacket. Choose It. Use It. Always wear a lifejacket or PFD when in a boat.
• Learn to Swim to Survive. In most drownings, the victim never intended to go in the water and was often close to safety – could you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water?
• Swim with a buddy. Make smart choices before going into or out on the water.
• Know your limits. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 40% of boating-related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impairs judgment, reflexes and balance. Stay sober when in, on or around the water.
• Be Water Smart all year round. You can save a life, yours and someone else’s. Take a learn-to-swim, lifesaving or first aid class today.*
Water is a necessity in our lives and it also provides for countless hours of entertainment and memories, but it can be so very dangerous. Please do your part in helping to prevent drowning deaths and make water safe and enjoyable for all to use.
*The tips and advice were used from The Lifesaving Society – http://www.lifesavingsociety.com/media/306590/ndpw%202019%20%20themes%20and%20messages%20_en.pdf