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Be water safe this summer

Did you know that a child can drown in as little as five centimetres of water? During the summer months parents/caregivers should pay close attention to children, especially when they are in or around water.
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In BC from 2014-2019, there were 78 hospitalizations among children for drowning and 15 fatalities. There are several ways parents/caregivers can take care to ensure children remain safe while enjoying the relief water can bring on a hot day. 

Water safety tips: 

  • Children need constant supervision when they are around any type of body of water including a wading pool, pond, splash pad, lake or beach – always watch children closely.  
  • Adults should be within an arm’s reach at all times and provide ‘touch supervision’ to infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers. 
  • Never assume that a child who knows how to swim isn't at risk for drowning. 
  • Enrol children in swimming lessons. If you’re not a strong swimmer, consider enrolling yourself too. 
  • Ensure children are wearing proper-fitting Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) when they are in or around water. For kids younger than five-years-old, choose a device with a strap between the legs and head support. 
  • Empty small, above ground wading pools after use. Even a small amount of water (five centimetres) can be left in an inflatable pool which can be hazardous for a child.
  • Clear all toys from pools when not in use to ensure children do not attempt to retrieve them later on. 
  • If you’re at the beach do not allow children to swim in large waves or undertows.
  • Parents/caregivers should model the behaviour they want children to demonstrate. For example, when on a boat, parents/caregivers should also wear PFD’s.
  • Talk to children about the dangers of water and ensure they follow rules and directions. 

Always keep water safety a priority—talk to children and other parents/caregivers about water safety precautions to ensure it's front of mind for everyone.

If you’re enjoying a day outdoors remember to wear sunscreen and a sunhat, spend time in the shade and stay hydrated! Check out these
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