Despite the air temperature outside, summer really is right around the corner (WOOHOO!). For many of us in the Ottawa region this means backyard pool parties, summer camps, and lazy days near lakes and rivers.
At KCS the safety of our families and kids is our number 1 priority and we want to do our part in spreading the word about water safety and drowning prevention. Most drownings occur in lakes, ponds, rivers, home pools and bath tubs – not at pools or beaches. For kids between 0 to 4, 75% of all drownings occur as a result of a lack of supervision while 55% of drownings for kids from 5 to 12 occur as a result of a lack of supervison. What all these scenarios have in common is that they are unsupervised.
Tips for Keeping Kids Water Safe
Nominate a Water-Watcher
When kids are swimming or playing around water nominate an adult to be the designated water-watcher. While “on-duty” the water-watcher should not use a cell-phone/ or get distracted from their task. This doesn’t mean you should leave the phone at home – it should be fully charged and ready to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Teach Kids What Drowning Looks Like
Your kids will be the ones in the action and can be an extra set of eyes and ears, alerting grown-ups to a problem. Signs of drowning include:
- No Yelling or Frantic Waiving – If a person is drowning all their energy is going towards breathing and keeping themselves above water.
- Their Mouth is Close to Water Level – A drowning person’s head will be close to the water and bob above and below the water level.
- Empty Look in Their Eyes – A person’s whole mind and energy will be focused on survival and they will look like they are staring into the distance
Swim with a Buddy
Older kids should always swim with a buddy and should know the signs of drowning or distress so they can alert an adult and not put themselves in danger. .
Take Swimming Lessons
Though swimming lessons never replace adequate supervision for drowning prevention, in the event of an accident, age appropriate swimming lessons can help save your child from drowning. At KidsCanSwim we have a survival week EVERY month to ensure your kids are practicing skills they could use to save themselves or their friends.
We all have a part to play in reducing the number of drownings in Canada. Spread the word about the best ways to keep your kids safe and sign your kids up for swimming lessons! Come check out the KidsCanSwim survival week and swimming lessons and book your free trial.