OTTAWA, July 22 /CNW Telbec/ - During National Drowning Prevention Week
(July 19 to 27, 2008), the Lifesaving Society urges all parents to be "Water
Smart" when in, on or near bodies of water this summer.
Nationally, there were 19 water related fatalities involving children
aged 0 - 4 in 2004 (most recent national data available), up slightly from 16
fatalities just a year earlier. "With statistics like that, it's clear that
our message still needs to be heard, given that these tragedies continue to
occur just a few meters from safety," states Nicole Liddell, the Lifesaving
Society's National President-Elect.
Police Service Agent Giovani Zampini from station 4 in Montreal is very
aware of how fast drowning can occur. He provided lifesaving First Aid to a
two year girl who had fallen into her family's backyard pool last spring in
Dollard-des-Ormeaux. He arrived on the scene within 15 seconds of the
emergency call and started CPR. "I inserted my fingers into her throat and was
able to retrieve water and secretions and then she started breathing agian"
stated Zampini. Parents can prevent potentially dangerous situations from
occurring if they abide by the Lifesaving Society's motto which is to always
be "Within Arms Reach" of their children.
Swimming skills need to be taught. Swimming skills are not innate. They
are learned and they are very difficult to master without proper instruction.
Children can drown in as little as 10 seconds and in only a few centimeters of
water. Contrary to popular belief, drowning victims rarely call out, wave or
signal for help.
Water Smart Tips to keep Children safe at the Cottage, the Beach and
1. Always Stay Within Arm's Reach - if you are not within arm's reach of
your child when they are in, on or around water you have gone
2. Make sure your child is Wearing a Lifejacket when playing near water.
3. Inflatable Toys = Extra Fun and Extra Supervision -
Inflatable toys can blow away from shore, tip over and trap your
child underneath or suddenly deflate. Providing extra attention
whenever your child uses inflatable toys can help keep activities fun
4. Restrict Access to Your Pool and open water - Ensure that there is a
fence around the entire perimeter and always keep your pool gate
locked when your pool is not in use.
5. Drain Backyard Wading Pools After Use - A child can drown in just a
few centimetres of water. Be mindful to position wading pools so they
will not fill up with rain water when not in use.
6. Be Prepared and take some lifesaving and first aid training - Know
what to do in the event that something happens.
7. Boat Safe - Choose it and Use it! Wear a Lifejacket or Personal
Flotation Device - simply having a lifejacket in your boat is not
enough, be sure you and your child are wearing them. Get your
Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) to be sure you meet Federal
regulations and know the rules of the water.
8. Lock all doors when you are inside the cottage and secure low windows
that a child might crawl through.
9. Establish rules for around the water.
10. All members of your family should be able to master the three basic
skills of the Swim to Survive standard - Roll into deep water, tread
water for 1 minute and swim 50 meters.
National Drowning Prevention Week is an annual, public education and
drowning prevention initiative of the Lifesaving Society with the goal of
reducing the number of water related fatalities and near drowning incidents
through the promotion of key water safe messages, including:
Monday July 21, 2008 "400+ Drowning Deaths a Year Still Too Many"
Tuesday July 22, 2008 "Children Among Those at Greatest Risk of
Wednesday July 23, 2008 "Alcohol and Water a Potentially Deadly
Thursday July 24, 2008 "Lifesaving Society Celebrates 100 Years of
Friday July 25, 2008 "Canada Post Releases Stamp Honoring Lifesaving
For additional information and/or program information, parents are urged
to visit the Society's website at: www.lifesaving.ca
About the Lifesaving Society:
The Lifesaving Society, Canada's lifeguarding experts for the past
100 years, is a national, volunteer organization and registered charity whose
mandate is drowning prevention. The Society's programs include: Learn to Swim,
Lifesaving, Lifesaving Sport, Water Smart(R) Public Education, Research, First
Aid and Boating. The Lifesaving Society remains the leader in lifeguard
training and in 2008 will provide training and certification to over 500,000
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange an interview: Mr. Simon Rolfe,
Manager of In-house Marketing Projects, Lifesaving Society National Office,
(613) 746-5694 ext 27, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lifesaving.ca; In
Quebec, for additional information or to arrange an interview: Mr. Raynald
Hawkins, Executive Director, Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch, (514) 252-3100
ext 3101, email@example.com, or visit www.sauvetage.qc.ca