Topics: Saskatchewan, Water Safety
August 02, 2013

(SASKATOON, Aug. 2, 2013) With a long weekend coming up, the Canadian Red Cross is reminding parents that the risk of water-related injury and death when children are on or near the water is far greater than perceived.
 
A recent poll conducted by Ipsos Reid found that 46 per cent of parents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba believe they can effectively supervise a child in the water without constantly watching them. Children in the Prairie provinces are 22 per cent more likely to drown than the average for children across Canada. On average, 13 children drown needlessly every year in these provinces.
 
“Though important, swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Parents have to be diligent about watching their children, even if they believe they are strong swimmers,” said Diane Francoeur, for the Red Cross in Saskatchewan. “It only takes a second for something to happen. Swimming skills combined with water safety knowledge saves lives.”
 
The Red Cross Swim program teaches both swimming skills and water safety. The infant and preschool program, Red Cross Swim Preschool, teaches caregivers strategies on how to effectively supervise children around water and teaches preschoolers not to go near the water without an adult.
 
Tips for active supervision
  • The absence of adult supervision is a factor in most child drownings.
  • Whether it’s a pool, the bathtub, or the beach, always watch children actively around water – even if they can swim.
  • Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a lifejacket to keep them at the surface to assist you while supervising.
  • Parents and caregivers need to be vigilant at all times when children have access to any body of water
 
For more information, call your local Red Cross office or visit to www.redcross.ca.