Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Safe Kids Canada's water safety advice for parents

Safe Kids Canada's water safety advice for parents: "Layers of protection are the best way to prevent your children from drowning"
(NC)-Each year, an estimated 58 children under the age of 14 will drown and another 140 children will be hospitalized as a result of a near-drowning incident. Safe Kids Canada strongly recommends parents use all of these "layers of protection" to keep their children safe when in, on or around water.

1. Actively Supervise: 42 per cent of all children under the age of 14 who drowned in the past 10 years did not have an adult watching them. Whether it's a bathtub, a home pool, a lake or a river make sure you stay within sight and reach of children at all times. Avoid talking on the phone or reading a book when your children are in, on or around water. Even children who can swim need adult supervision. Children can drown quickly and silently in inches of water and in just a few seconds.

2. Get Trained: Know how to react in an emergency situation. Learn to swim or have an experienced adult swimmer supervise children in, on or around water. Weak swimmers should take swimming lessons, and caregivers should learn First Aid and CPR before assuming the role of supervisor.

3. Create Barriers: Children should not be able to get to the pool directly from the house. Using a four-sided pool fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate can prevent up to seven out of 10 drownings in children under the age of five. Installing a 1.2 m (4 ft) high four-sided fence with self-closing, self-latching gate around the pool can keep young children safely away from the pool. If a property has natural water hazards (lakes, ponds, streams, rivers etc.) or even decorative water features, a separate play space for children should be fenced off to keep them safely away from the water.

4. Use Lifejackets: Put young children and weak swimmers in lifejackets when in, on or around water. Children should never be left without adult supervision even if they are wearing a lifejacket.

5. Teach Kids To Swim: Parent and tot swimming classes are fun for the family, and they help educate parents on how to keep toddlers safe around water. By age five, children are ready to be enrolled in swimming lessons. But remember, swimming lessons alone are not enough. You need to put in place all of these layers of protection to keep your child safe in, on or around water.

These tips are part of the 2007 Safe Kids Week campaign - Splash into Safety - running from May 28 - June 3 and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. To learn more about drowning prevention, call Safe Kids Canada at 1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847) or visit


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