Doctors Write Prescription for National Drowning Prevention Week

TORONTO, July 22, 2012 /CNW/ - As the temperature and humidity is set to rise again for National Drowning Prevention Week, Ontario's Doctors want to stress the importance of life jackets and parental supervision to curtail the recent increase in provincial drowning deaths.

Physicians have long championed water safety for both kids and adults. The OMA believes that it is important to speak out to try to prevent more drownings this summer and have made a number of recommendations for patients and communities.

Life jackets and supervision should be at top of mind for parents near the water this week, but over the longer term, communities have to act to improve the availability of swimming and water survival lessons, and ensure that pool fencing regulations are fully protective.

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of four. Ontario's doctors have recommended six key steps that can be taken to help protect children from drowning.  Specifically:

          i.      Children playing near the water should be supervised by an adult at all times;
          ii.      Children under 5, and older children who are not strong swimmers should wear a life jacket when around water;
          iii.      Everyone should wear a life jacket in a boat, canoe or other water craft; 
          iv.      Pool owners, especially those with young children or grandchildren should install a 4-sided pool fence, which prevents access to the pool from the home; and 
          v.      Parents should be trained in CPR and rescue breathing, especially if they live near the water or have a pool. 
          vi.      Swimming lesson should be mandatory. Schools and community pools should offer them for free and all parents should ensure that their kids take them;

Quotes:
"Preventing these tragedies is easy; kids wearing life jackets don't drown. They should always be worn in a boat, and by kids who are playing near the water."

"Someone can drown in a matter of seconds, and it is often silent. We know that parents would never intentionally put their children in harm's way, but I can't stress enough how important constant supervision is."

Doug Weir
President
Ontario Medical Association

SOURCE: Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

please contact: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 286
media@oma.org @OntariosDoctors

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