Drowning deaths are preventable: Ontario's doctors

TORONTO, July 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Swimming is a favourite summer pastime, but Ontario's doctors want to remind those spending time in or near the water that lifejackets and parental supervision of children should be top of mind.

It is always important to be aware of water safety, but National Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from July 18-26, is a good opportunity to point out how a few simple tips could save a life. Every summer, too many Ontarians drown in tragic and often preventable accidents on our lakes and waterways.

Ontario's doctors have six simple steps everyone can take to help protect children and themselves from drowning:

  • Children playing near the water should be supervised by an adult at all times;
  • Children under five, or anyone who is not a strong swimmer, should wear a well-fitting lifejacket that is approved by Transport Canada whenever they are near the water.  
  • Everyone should wear a well-fitting lifejacket that is approved by Transport Canada when in a boat, canoe or other watercraft;
  • Pool owners should install a 4-sided pool fence to keep toddlers safe from the danger of falling in the water.  
  • Parents should be trained in CPR, especially if they live near the water or have a pool; and
  • Swimming lessons are an essential part of drowning prevention and are strongly recommended for all children in Ontario.

"Taking a swim in the lake or the pool is a great way to cool off from the summer heat, get a little exercise and have some fun. Parents and adults should ensure children are supervised while swimming or near water; and kids need to wear lifejackets at all times on watercrafts. In fact, everyone – even strong swimmers need to wear lifejackets on a watercraft. Summertime is meant to be enjoyed - just be sure you do it safely."

Dr. Mike Toth
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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