Stay safe in, on and around the water this summer

Topics: National, Water Safety
August 02, 2013

Each year, tragic and preventable water-related fatalities occur throughout the country during the hot summer months. The Red Cross offers the following tips to keep your family safe.

  1. Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device not only on and in the water, but if you plan to be around it.

    The reality is there is just not enough time to put your lifejacket on. Each year, more than 160 Canadians drown while boating and most people who drown never intended to be in the water. Nearly 90 per cent of boaters who drown are not wearing, or not properly wearing, their lifejacket.

  2. Always watch children actively around water and never leave them alone, even for a second.

    Most often, children drown in a pool when they aren’t being adequately supervised. These drownings mainly involve young children who gain access to a pool without a self-closing and self-latching gate. According to 2013 public opinion polling conducted by the Canadian Red Cross, two thirds of Canadian parents say water depth is a major factor when determining whether their child needs supervision while around or in the water, believing shallower water to be safer. However, children can drown in just a few centimetres of water. Toddlers and young children often can’t regain their balance after stumbling in water, and water depths can vary suddenly along natural shorelines.

  3. Swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life; swimming skills combined with water safety knowledge and skills is what saves lives.

    An average of 400 Canadians drown each year, and a Red Cross research report examining 10 years of drowning statistics showed that young children between the ages of 1 to 4 and men between the ages 15 of 44 are at the greatest risk of drowning. The Red Cross Swim program teaches both swimming skills and water safety. The baby and preschool program, Red Cross Swim Preschool, teaches caregivers how to effectively supervise children around water and teaches preschoolers not to go near the water without an adult.

    For water safety tips, visit here.