The Lifesaving Society designates the third week in July as National Drowning Prevention Week to focus community and media attention on the drowning problem and drowning prevention.
With nearly 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age (surpassed only by motor vehicle collisions and poisoning). Sixty per cent of all drowning deaths in Canada occur during participation in summer-time recreational activities including swimming and fishing or boating, with approximately two-thirds of drowning occurring just 15 meters from safety. The average number of drownings in Ontario per year is 160.
The Lifesaving Society offers these tips to help prevent drowning this summer:
- If you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far. Always supervise children.
- Boat sober. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 40% of boating-related fatalities.
- Choose It. Use It. Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD.
- Lifejackets don’t work if you don’t wear them. Not wearing a Lifejacket or PFD was a factor in 88% of boating deaths.
- Approximately 166 Ontarians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many.
The Lifesaving Society is a national, charitable organization working to prevent drowning and reduce waterrelated injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, drowning research and aquatic safety standards. The Lifesaving Society certifies Canada’s National Lifeguards. Learn more about National Drowning Prevention Week on their website and join the conversation using the hashtag #NDPW2017.
Photo Credit: Lifesaving Society, Ontario