With summer in full swing, it’s prime time for lounging poolside, relaxing at the beach, taking the boat out at the cottage and heading on vacation. Although these are all great ways to spend your break, it is critical to keep water safety tips top-of-mind as they could be the difference between a lifelong happy memory and a traumatic experience.
In advance of National Drowning Prevention Week (July 21-27), Allstate Canada wants to help ensure Canadians are prepared to (safely) spend time near the water this summer.
According to the Lifesaving Society Canada Drowning Report, there were 146 drowning- related deaths in Ontario – 65% of which occur in natural bodies of water (in 2016).
To help you and your loved ones keep safety top-of-mind while enjoying the water, Allstate Canada has worked with the Lifesaving Society Canada on a list of top tips:
Clearly assign a responsible supervisor – Know who is in charge at all times and ensure the supervisor has strong water safety knowledge. Consider taking turns to keep a watchful eye if by the water for a longer period. You could identify the current on duty supervisor by having them wear a special hat, for example.
Swim in supervised areas – As natural bodies of water have the highest rate of water accidents, it is important to choose areas supervised by a lifeguard, whenever possible. If you are heading to the beach this summer, look for options that have lifeguards on duty.
Avoid distractions when on duty – If you are the designated supervisor, make a point of putting your cell phone down, save reading your book or magazine for later, and reassign cooking and food duties to others to ensure you can concentrate on the task at hand. Stay close so you can react quickly, if needed.
Keep water inaccessible when not in use – Follow safety guidelines and fence in pools. Limit and control access to other bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and even wading pools.
Wear a floating device – Everyone should wear a personal flotation device while boating.
Inexperienced swimmers should also wear them in pools or other bodies of water.
Swim with a buddy – There is safety in numbers. Make sure swimmers of all ages and skill levels always have a buddy with them, whether in a pool or a lake.
Learn to swim – There’s power in knowledge. By enrolling your children in swimming lessons early on, they will gain confidence and have a better understanding of the dangers and risks associated with water. And remember, it’s never too late to learn; there are swim classes for all ages!