As the Red Cross marks Water Safety Week (June 1-8), we want to share with you the results from recent research conducted by the Canadian Red Cross around child drownings. Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under the age of 10, and Red Cross research shows the majority of Canadian parents do not understand what measures are needed to keep kids safe in, on and around water. The following infographic illustrates the results of this research.

Infographic child drownings

We also want to share some of the ways that parents can keep their children safe this summer:

  • Children need adult supervision whenever they are around water, not only when they are actively participating in water activities.
  • All pools and open water can pose a risk to children, regardless of their depth. There’s a perception of safety in shallow water that gives parents a false sense of security. In reality, it only takes enough water to cover the mouth and nose for a drowning to happen.
  • Effective adult supervision means never letting children out of sight. Children can drown in minutes and often don’t make sounds of distress.
  • Lifejackets must be worn at all times when on a boat. It’s not enough to just have lifejackets on board because you likely would not have time to put it on if you need it.
  • Swimming lessons can save lives.
  • Ensure your backyard pool have four-sided fencing, and self-closing and self-latching gate. You should also have the appropriate equipment around the pool in case of an emergency. More info on backyard pool safety here.

We invite you to help us spread the message to parents on how to prevent drownings through effective supervision, backyard pool safety measures and understanding the risks to children when they are in, or around water.