OTTAWA, June 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Although child drowning rates are
decreasing, it remains the second leading cause of preventable death
for children younger than 10. Recent Red Cross research shows that
Canadian parents need to develop a better understanding of how to
safeguard children in, on and around the water. With June 1 to 8 being
Water Safety Week, the Red Cross is calling on all Canadians to educate
themselves and their children about the risk of drowning.
"Children can drown quickly and quietly, and often in situations where
they were not expected to enter the water," says Rick Caissie, national
director for first aid, swimming and water safety at the Canadian Red
Cross. "Only one-third of children and youth who drown in Canada were
taking part in aquatic activities that parents typically see as risky,
like swimming or wading. One-third of children drown in situations
where they enter the water unexpectedly, like by falling from a dock or
entering the water without their caregiver's knowledge."
Yet Ipsos Reid polling conducted on behalf of the Red Cross shows that
Canadian parents underestimate children's risk of drowning in shallow
water. Ninety-eight per cent of parents with children younger than four
say that water depth influences their level of supervision. However,
data shows that 40 per cent of children drown in water less than one
metre deep, and 90 per cent of children who drown in shallow water are
not with a supervising adult.
Fifteen per cent of child drownings in Canada happen in backyard pools,
but Canadian parents also underestimate the importance of backyard pool
safety measures. Only half of parents believe four-sided fencing is an
important measure to prevent drowning. In 70 per cent of child
drownings in backyard pools, the pool has no fence, or has a fence that
does not adhere to safety bylaws.
"Sixty per cent of child drownings occur between June and August," adds
Caissie. "With summer around the corner, we urge parents to understand
the risks to children not just when they are in the water, but also
when they are on it or near it."
The Red Cross has been helping to keep Canadians safe in, on and around
water since 1946. For more information about Canadian Red Cross
swimming and water safety programs, or for safety tips, visit www.redcross.ca/swim.
SOURCE: Canadian Red Cross - Ontario Zone
For further information:
Karen Snider, Canadian Red Cross, 416 518 2844 @karensnider