Lifesaving Society Canada is bringing awareness to the issue of safety around the water during National Drowning Prevention Week. The river is high at Gyro Park in Trail; the society reminds all to ensure that children are under the direct supervision of an adult when around barrier-free bodies of water. Photo: Trail Times

Lifesaving Society Canada is bringing awareness to the issue of safety around the water during National Drowning Prevention Week. The river is high at Gyro Park in Trail; the society reminds all to ensure that children are under the direct supervision of an adult when around barrier-free bodies of water. Photo: Trail Times

Lifesaving Canada Society raises awareness on drowning prevention

July 25 is World Drowning Prevention Day.

Despite a downward trend, drowning is still the third leading cause of unintentional death in Canada.

Lifesaving Society Canada is bringing awareness to the issue of safety around the water during National Drowning Prevention Week, July 17 to July 23.

The third week of July is chosen each year as statistics show that is the period when the highest number of drownings occur.

To date, there have been 16 drownings in B.C. compared to 26 at the same time in 2021. The mission of the Lifesaving Society is prevention with an aim for zero drownings as the society says all drownings are preventable.

In Canada, over 400 people drown annually, making it the second leading cause of unintentional death for children and the third leading cause of unintentional death for adults. In particular, Indigenous, northern and new Canadians have disproportionately high drowning rates.

In addition, the drowning burden is so great around the world that the United Nations General Assembly passed a UN Resolution in 2021 on drowning prevention and named July 25 of each year as World Drowning Prevention Day.

Statistics show that almost 70 per cent of drowning victims never intended to go into the water and were often within 15 metres of safety. Nearly every Canadian has known someone who has drowned or had a non-fatal drowning experience, whether personally or within their community.

To help reduce drowning, all Canadians are encouraged to:

Take learn-to-swim lessons and basic first aid training;

Wear a properly fitted lifejacket when on a boat;

Refrain from alcohol/drug consumption during aquatic activities;

Ensure children are under the direct supervision of an adult when around barrier-free bodies of water;

Ensure backyard pools have four-sided fencing with a self-closing, self-latching gate.

Read more: Lifeguard shortage impacts aquatic centre (2021)

Read more: Swim-to-Survive Day at Gyro Park (2019)



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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