Drowning Deaths are Preventable: Ontario's doctors

TORONTO, July 22, 2013 /CNW/ - High temperatures, persistent humidity and the 'dog days of summer' means more people are heading to the water to stay cool. It's National Drowning Prevention Week and Ontario's doctors want to remind those spending time in or near the water that lifejackets and parental supervision should be top of mind.

Every summer too many Ontarians drown in tragic and often preventable accidents on our lakes and waterways. What is more alarming is that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of four.

Ontario's doctors have six simple steps people can take to help protect children and themselves 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 lifejacket when around water; 
iii.     Everyone should wear a lifejacket in a boat, canoe or other watercraft;
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;
v.     Parents should be trained in CPR and rescue breathing, especially if they live near the water or have a pool; and 
vi.     Swimming lesson should be mandatory. Schools and community pools should offer lessons for free and all parents should ensure that their kids take learn to swim.

"Jumping in the lake or the pool is a great way to cool off, get a little exercise and have some fun. Kids love the water too, ensure they're supervised and wearing lifejackets at all times. Even strong swimmers need to wear lifejackets on a watercraft. Summertime is meant to be enjoyed - just be sure you do it safely."

Scott Wooder, MD
Ontario Medical Association

SOURCE: Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862
www.oma.org @Ontariosdoctors

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