Drowning prevention: averting catastrophe

Playing in the water is one of summer’s most enjoyable activities. However, whether at the beach, the lake or by the pool, we must never lose sight of safety rules to prevent a leisure activity from turning into a tragedy.

In most drowning accidents, it is later concluded that the incident could have been prevented. This is why we have to be made aware of the reality that destroys the lives of entire families and to focus on prevention.

Here are a few essential tips concerning water safety:

  • If you have a pool at home, be sure to use effective ways of blocking access to it. Fencing in the pool on all sides is essential.
  • When possible, always remove the ladder from the pool after you have finished using it. Ideally, choose a ladder with an automatic door or gate that requires an adult to open it.
  • Keep a cordless phone by the pool. This way, you will be able to answer it easily or to call for help in an emergency.
  • Never let children swim without supervision. Make sure that the people supervising are able to do so adequately.
  • Never leave a young child unsupervised when there is water nearby. Keep in mind that a child can drown in as little as 20 seconds and in only a few centimeters of water.
  • Do not leave objects floating on the water, this may attract the child’s attention and cause him/her to topple over into the pool.
  • When you are on a boat or any type of water vessel, be sure to wear your lifejacket or personal flotation device.
  • Protect your body from the “shock” that can be caused by the contrast between the hot sun followed by contact with water that is too cold (hydrocution), which may cause you to faint and drown.
  • Avoid drinking excess amounts of alcohol when you are near water. Alcohol can impair your mental abilities, put you in danger of drowning and even reduce your level of watchfulness and your judgment.
  • Establish strict rules about swimming or any other aquatic activities, especially when you are watching a group of children.
  • Forbid diving into the pool head first.
  • Attend a first aid training and CPR class.

This year, the National Drowning Prevention Week will be held from July 20th to the 26th, 2014. For more information or tips, visit: www.ndpw.ca ou www.sauvetage.qc.ca.

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Drowning prevention: averting catastrophe

Playing in the water is one of summer’s most enjoyable activities. However, whether at the beach, the lake or by the pool, we must never lose sight of safety rules to prevent a leisure activity from turning into a tragedy.
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