July 18-24, 2021 is a National Drowning Prevention Week. The month of July sees an increase of water-related incidents, and with that in mind, the OPP would like to reach out to local residents to focus on drowning prevention when it comes to backyard swimming pools.
Almost half of all child drownings in Canada happen in backyard swimming pools. Children from one to four years of age are most likely to drown in a backyard pool. If you own a pool or spa, it’s critical that you take steps to ensure the safety of everyone – and especially children – in and around the water.
Here are some life-saving tips to help protect your family and friends:
• Always watch your children when they’re in or near a pool or spa. If multiple adults are present, designate one of them to watch the children. Make sure you rotate water watchers – this technique will prevent any lapses in supervision.
• Teach children basic water safety tips and enroll them in swimming lessons. Even if you don’t live close to water, your child will end up near it at some point, whether on vacation or at someone else’s home.
• Don’t rely on fun toys such as water wings or noodles to keep your children safe. If your child can’t swim, fit them with an appropriate personal floatation device (PFD).
• Put away your phone. Children can silently slip beneath the surface and drown in seconds. Make sure you keep your phone fully charged and within reach so you can call for help in case of an emergency.
• Have an emergency plan in place: knowing and acting immediately-instead of waiting for emergency responders-can make the difference between life and death in drowning cases or anytime a person’s heart stops.
• Establish pool rules:
– Don’t go in or near the pool without an adult
– No pushing or running around pool
– If someone is in trouble, let an adult know immediately.
For more information on water safety, please visit https://www.parachutecanada.org/en/injury-topic/drowning/.