Water safety is the message for Parachute's Safe Kids Week

Parachute releases Compass report on drownings in Canada

TORONTO, June 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Safe swimming and safe splashing mean your kids can have fun when they are in and around the water. This is the message being shared with Canadians during Parachute's Safe Kids Week, June 7 – 14, 2014. With more than 570 children having drowned in Canada in the past 10 years, this message takes on added urgency and is why Parachute is encouraging Canadians to become aware of the importance of water safety in order to prevent drowning and water-related injuries this summer.  

"Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related deaths for Canadian children," says Louise Logan, Parachute's President and CEO. "Education and knowledge are key. Parents need to be aware and know how they can prevent these tragic incidents and through initiatives like Parachute's Safe Kids Week, we're ensuring the right water safety resources are available for families who enjoy swimming and water activities."

Now in its 19th year, Parachute's Safe Kids Week is an annual public awareness campaign designed to raise awareness about the frequency and severity of preventable childhood injuries, which are the leading cause of death and disability amongst Canadian children. The annual national campaign is held in communities across Canada, including in Victoria, BC where Island Heath is today hosting a dunk tank for local celebrities to get wet in the name of water safety at the national launch of Parachute's Safe Kids Week.

With 90% of all shallow water drownings of children occurring when an adult is not supervising, Parachute is reminding to adults to be aware and is encouraging Canadians to be know some very important water safety tips to help prevent childhood drownings:

  • Stay Close, Keep in Sight and Listen: Active supervision is key. Kids overestimate their skills and underestimate their environments like water depth or strength of current.
  • Life Jackets are Life Savers. Young children under 5 years of age and weak swimmers should wear lifejackets when they are in, on or around the water.
  • Fence it, Prevent It! Install a four-sided pool fence around your backyard pool. Researchers estimate that 7 out of 10 child drownings can be prevented with four-sided pool fencing.
  • Know How to Swim. While it doesn't replace active adult supervision, swimming lessons allow children to gain confidence around water and learn swimming strokes and water skills.
  • Be Prepared. Get trained in water skills, swimming skills, CPR and first aid. It could help save a life.

Parachute has developed and is sharing numerous resources to parents, and community organizations, which are available at parachutecanada.org/safekidsweek.

Parachute is dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. A national charity, Parachute officially formed in July 2012, when the former Safe Communities Canada, Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK and ThinkFirst Canada joined together to become one leader in injury prevention. Parachute's injury prevention solutions, knowledge mobilization, public policy, and social awareness efforts are designed to help keep Canadians safe.  Parachute's vision is an injury-free Canada with Canadians living long lives to the fullest.  For information, visit us at parachutecanada.org, follow us on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

SOURCE: Parachute

For further information: George James, Parachute, 647 776-5125 (w), 416 402-3783 (c), gjames@parachutecanada.org


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