The Hub August 2017 - Page 6

Royal Life Saving Society Canada Drowning prevention Though Drowning Prevention Week was observed in July, it’s important to talk about basic water safety skills all year, especially during the summer months when swimming and boating are regular pastimes. Swimming pools, lakes and rivers offer year-round fun if they are enjoyed safely. But every year about 160 people drown in Ontario. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under five years old, and statistics show that children under 12, boaters, young men and seniors 65+ are at greatest risk. Drowning is fast and silent, but every drowning death is preventable with water safety knowledge and common sense. Remembering some important water safety tips for everyone is a good place to start: 4 Learn to swim 4 Always swim with a buddy 4 Children and non-swimmers should always be supervised around water 4 Wear a lifejacket whenever you are in a boat 4 Alcohol and water don't mix: don't drink and swim, don't drink and drive your boat Drowning is fast and silent supervision in and around the water. Adults, especially men, sometimes take unnecessary risks, overestimate their abilities or use alcohol while boating. Older adults may not realize that medications and age can change their abilities. Knowing the risks and understanding water safety can help ensure that everyone has fun. Water safety facts: u Children under five, young men and older adults have the highest drowning risk Drowning facts Children and families love to spend time around the water. To make sure everyone has fun, it's important to know how to stay safe and be water smart. Children under 12 have an increased drowning risk and need attentive u Teenage brains can encourage risk-taking behaviour u Drowning can occur in is little as a few centimetres of water u Drowning is fast and silent - not like in the movies. There's no splashing and no screaming. u Bathtub drownings occur every year among young children and older adults More water safety tips 4 Stay within arms' reach of children under five 4 Always swim and boat with a buddy 4 Alcohol and water don't mix. Don't drink and swim. Don't drink and drive your boat 4 Take swimming lessons 4 Swim in lifeguarded areas 4 Check your medication for possible side effects that will affect your endurance or swimming ability 4 Know your limits - age and health can affect your swimming abilities For more information about staying safe in the water this summer, visit lifesavingsociety.com 6 The HUB August 2017