So let’s talk about Water Safety.
We know every parent wants to protect their children from harm and to keep them safe whenever possible. When it comes to participating in water activities, it is no different. Water activities are a great way to keep our families healthy and active throughout the year especially during the summer months.
Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for Canadian children. Every year almost 60 children drown. This is equal to more than two classrooms full of children. Each year another 140 children must stay in the hospital because they nearly drowned. Near-drowning can result in long-term health effects. It can affect the way a child thinks, learns, and plays. A young child can drown in as little as 2.5 cm (one inch) of water in just seconds, according to Parachute Canada.
Here are some important steps to keep your family safe around water:
Active supervision of children when they are around or in the water. Parents and caregivers play such an important key role when it comes to protecting your children from drowning, make sure your child is in arm length of you when they are around water.
Buckle up: wear a lifejacket and make sure it is buckled up and worn correctly. Make sure it the proper weight and size for the person wearing it.
Get trained in adult training in first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), you never know when this skill will come into use but it’s a great life saver tool to have.
Be sure to eliminate distractions while children are in the water. Talking on the phone, working on the computer, and other tasks need to wait until children are out of the water.
Enrolling your child in swimming lessons can help prevent drowning.
Being at the pool, beach and on the boat are all about having fun. So don’t let the dangers of safety turn you off from enjoying these activities. Being prepared will make you feel more comfortable and ready to jump into action when needed. So get outside and enjoy the summer months and be summer safe.
Laura Lukye is a Health Promotion Facilitator with Alberta Health Services, Population Health Promotion. She can be reached by e-mail: [email protected]