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article imageWhat you need to know about Drowning Prevention Week in Canada

By Tim Sandle     Jul 26, 2015 in Health
Drowning Prevention Week in Canada has highlighted the importance of keeping children safe by the poolside and by the sea during the summer holidays.
Safety around water is important, especially for younger children. While this might seem like common sense, the incident rates have actually risen in recent years. According to the Drowning Prevention Research Center, cases of drowning relating to children five years of age and under stand some 20 percent higher in Ontario compared with both the current national figures and the longer-term cross-Canada average.
Sadly, with most of the recent cases of drowning, the child was either alone near water; or the person in charge of the child was "distracted"; or the child was simply left alone with another child of a similar age.
Due to the dangers, and to go forwards following Drowning Prevention Week (which ran July 19 through to July 25), St. John Ambulance has issued some important advice for parents and guardians. This is:
Supervise, supervise and supervise. Here, an adult supervisor must always be close by when children are in or close to water. Ideally, an adult will actually be in the pool with the children so that any cases of a child struggling can be swiftly dealt with.
Swimming lessons. Although most children do not learn to swim until they are older than five, lessons are available for younger children that teach the basics. St. John Ambulance recommends that these are looked into.
Safety gates. Swimming pools should become equipped with a gate to prevent small children from falling into the pool. Gates should be self-closing/latching and around 4 feet high.
Sound the alarm. A pool gate should be equipped with an alarm, so that if the gate is opened, an alarm sounds, alerting an adult that a child might be accessing the water.
Use a Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Young children should be issued an made to wear a good quality PFD. This is a little like a lifejacket.
Avoid inflatables. Younger children can easily become caught in inflatable devices, and pulled under the water.
Be rescue ready. A rescue kit, including first aid measures, should be located alongside each swimming pool.
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