Deadly Silence


It’s National Drowning Prevention week and the timing is critical.
As of July 16, there have been 197 drownings in Canada this year, versus 163 at the same point last year, according to the Lifesaving Society. With a number of recent deaths, that toll has now been raised to over 200 drownings. According to the Canadian Institute for Health, seven people per day visit Ontario emergency departments with water-related injuries in the summer months, and children under five are at greatest risk.

As a competitive swimmer (in my youth), lifeguard and swim instructor, I thought I knew a lot about water safety. My most recent research taught me something new, however, and I think it’s worth sharing: SILENCE IS DEADLY. If you can’t hear your children playing in the water, they could very well be under the water. The point here is that drowning victims do not always splash around and call for help because they don’t often have the ability to if they are choking on a huge gulp of water (it’s very similar to choking on land—where the victim is silent). So if you have rambunctious kids like I do, you already know that when things are quiet, that’s not necessarily a good thing—on land or in water.

The best way to avoid major accidents is to insist the kids wear life jackets. Not water wings or one of those fat bathing suits—a proper, certified life jacket.

If your kids can swim, great. But don’t leave them with someone who isn’t watching closely. Send that older sibling, grandparent or friend in to make the sandwiches and you keep an eye on the swimmers.

For more water safety tips, read the SavvyMom article on drowning from earlier this week (just in case you missed it).

What are your water safety tips?


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