Congratulations everyone – we made it through another tough Ottawa winter. The reward – sunshine and warm weather.
And now that summer is right around the corner, we’ll all soon be swimming in our backyards, our local outdoor community pools, and the gorgeous lakes, rivers and streams that are so plentiful in our region.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to this time of year. Not surprising, the risk of drowning in Canada increases over the summer months. In fact, two thirds of drownings in Canada occur between the months of May and September, with the vast majority of these occurring in lakes, streams, rivers and ponds. i
According to the Canadian Drowning Report, most fatalities occur while swimming or boating and, of course, most of these are preventable. Wearing a life jacket or PFD is the most important way to prevent drowning while boating. Meanwhile, the biggest risk factor for drowning while swimming is being a weak or non-swimmer. ii
Which is why we encourage everyone to make sure they and their families have the water survival skills they need to enjoy a safe, fun summer. Parents need not be fearful of the water, but rather equip children with the skills to safely enjoy water playtime. The more confident a child is around the water, the less likely an incident will be to occur.
Below are some additional water safety tips to follow as we head into summer:
- Make sure there is at least one adult available to supervise children anywhere near pool or natural bodies of water.
- Never depend on flotation devices to keep your child safe in the water.
- Keep rescue equipment nearby and consider upgrading your skills in CPR, First Aid and lifeguarding.
Still, the most important thing you can do to prevent drownings is to teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible — and British Swim School is here to help. We start teaching water survival skills at three months old and continue to build those skills as your child develops.
You can find out more about registering your child with us today – just click here.
In the meantime, stay safe, have fun, enjoy the sun!
i. Canadian Drowning Report 2017, pages 5 and 6
ii. Canadian Drowning Report 2017, page 10