10 Safety Tips to Prevent Drowning

10 Safety Tips to Prevent Drowning

It’s National Drowning Prevention Week in Canada, a time where media and public attention is placed on drowning prevention by raising awareness about water and boating safety tips.

The Lifesaving Society warns that the next four weeks are when the greatest number of drownings occur. In Canada, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1-4 years of age, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years. With some 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age (surpassed only by motor vehicle collisions and poisoning).

Drowning Prevention Safety Tips

To ensure a safe and fun summer for you and your loved ones, keep the following safety tips in mind the next time you visit a pool or a beach:

1. Learn to swim. At a minimum, make sure everyone in your family can achieve the Swim to Survive standard. Lessons are offered in most provinces for free.

2. Keep children within arm’s reach. They require direct adult supervision at all times. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of five.

3. If you have a backyard pool, have it inspected on an annual basis by an NLS-certified lifeguard and use the Lifesaving Society’s Backyard Pool Safety Inspection Guidelines at the start of pool season.

4. Never consume alcohol or drugs while swimming or boating.

5. Never swim or boat alone. Always bring a buddy.

6. Wear a lifejacket, especially when participating in water sports. Even strong swimmers can find themselves in dangerous situations that could be prevented with the use of a lifejacket or other personal flotation device.

7. Avoid swimming after dark.

8. Avoid swimming in cold water.

9. Swim where there is lifeguard supervision.

10. Get regular physical check-ups and know your limitations. Make sure not to push the envelope when you are in or near the water.

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