Change the way your community approaches water safety with Open Water Wisdom

Topics: National, Water Safety
January 16, 2013

Change the way your community approaches water safety with Open Water Wisdom

The Canadian Red Cross is the country's leading non-profit organization, responding to emergencies and disasters wherever they occur with assistance for those in need.

For those who live in remote Northern communities across Canada, drowning is a serious risk.

The Canadian Red Cross' commitment to water safety throughout the country - especially in rural coastal and Northern areas - has led the organization to team up with the Public Health Agency of Canada to create Open Water Wisdom.

What is Open Water Wisdom?
Created by the Canadian Red Cross and partner agencies to reduce drowning and water emergencies in Northern and rural communities for youth under the age of 19, Open Water Wisdom seeks to drive awareness of risks by providing information and educational materials for local initiatives.

Communities that participate in Open Water Wisdom receive several items, including an educational toolkit for youth and families, as well as lifejackets. These resources are intended to help individuals adopt safer aquatic habits and engage local areas to act.

"Water Safety education and awareness in vital in helping reduce the number of water-related deaths," said Shelley Dalke, manager of national swimming and water safety programs for the Canadian Red Cross. "We are proud to be part of this initiative that will support Northern and remote communities in Canada with the tools they need to make activities around water safer."

HELP and learning how to 'talk, throw and reach' 

When people enter cold water, their bodies immediately react - they're likely to gasp and start breathing 10 to 20 times quicker than normal. By learning the "Heat Escape Lessening Position," or HELP, individuals can better retain heat, conserve energy and increase survival time.

For Canadian youth who want to learn how to help someone in the water during an emergency, the "talk, throw and reach" technique can keep young people who are responding to a water-related incident safe as they reach out and try to provide assistance to those in need.

Make a difference
With Open Water Wisdom, the Canadian Red Cross works to educate individuals about water-related risks and prevent emergencies from occurring.

To learn more about this program, please visit us online or contact your local Canadian Red Cross office. You can also show your support for the water safety programs and humanitarian work of the Canadian Red Cross by donating today. 

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