Last year in Canada child drownings nearly doubled according to a new report released by
the Lifesaving Society.
So why is the water safety message not getting through?
Byers who offered an explanation for the increase in drowning death and what
parents and caregivers can do to help protect young children when they are around water.
“I think many people just don’t realize that drowning can happen very quickly and very
quietly. Many people believe that they will have time to respond and that they will hear a response,” says Byers. “The reality is when a person is drowning they are not able to speak because their airways are filled with water.”
Among the reports key findings, a disturbing spike in drownings of children under the age
of five with 22 deaths in 2010 compared to 14 in 2009. Another at-risk group
identified in the report is new Canadians.
“We want to make sure parents realize that a child can drown in twenty seconds that it is
silent and very quick and that you need to have your eyes right on your child
all the time,” says Byers.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your child safe:
– Put a lifejacket on your child whenever you are in a pool, beach or campsite area.
– Always keep your child within arms reach and keep your eyes on them at all times.
– Secure and restrict all access to the pool and waterfront areas.
– Strongly recommend all children learn how to swim.
– Even if your child is a good swimmer they should not be allowed to go swimming on their own.
For more swim safety tips: www.lifesavingsociety.com.
Video interview with Barbara Byers: coming soon