National Drowning Prevention Week

We’ve all heard the tragic news, 2017 is proving to be an unfortunately high year for drownings in Ontario. Often these deaths are completely preventable.

July 16-22 is National Drowning Prevention Week in Canada. Annually, approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents. Even one life lost is one too many.

The drowning risk is highest for adults aged 20-34, but children under 5 are still at risk. Over 80% of drowning victims are male. Risk for older adults has dramatically increased as well, especially for seniors in bathtubs.

The Lifesaving Society has provided key safety tips that will hopefully keep you and your family safe:

  • Never Swim Alone. Always swim with a buddy.
  • Within Arm’s Reach and Active Supervision. If you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far. Always supervise children around water.
  • Boat sober. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 40% of boating-related fatalities.
  • Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD. They don’t work if you don’t wear them. Not wearing a Lifejacket or PFD was a factor in 82% of boating deaths.
  • Protect your neck. Go feet first into water for the first time. Never dive into shallow water.
  • Know before you go. Check the weather before heading out on the water.
  • Designate a backyard pool lifeguard.
  • Don’t drink and drown. Alcohol is a common factor associated with drowning. In an average of one in three Canadian drowning deaths, the casualty consumed alcohol prior to the incident.
  • Boating tips:
    • Have a boat safety kit.
    • Watch out for swimmers and other boaters.
    • Don’t boat alone.
    • Wear lifejackets.
    • Get trained in boat safety.
  • Swim to survive:
    • Can you swim at least 50 metres or tread water for 60 seconds?
    • Can you orient yourself after an unexpected fall into water?
    • IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN TO SWIM! Contact your local municipal swimming pool to sign up for swimming lessons.
  • Drowning prevention is a year-round effort. Always be safe in, on and around water and ice.

At South Easthope Mutual, we know how important family is. We hope you and yours enjoy water safely, year after year. Have a water safe summer from your friends at South Easthope Mutual!

The above safety tips and statistics were sourced from The Lifesaving Society. Visit their site for more information.

Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD while boating. They don’t work if you don’t wear them.