Drowning is the second leading cause of death for Canadian children under the age of 14.
- Make sure children, even those who are good swimmers, are supervised by adults at all times when they are in, on, or near the water.
- Drowning can occur quickly and quietly so you not only need to watch your children, you need to keep them within arms reach when they are in the water.
- Swim in areas that are safe. You need to know that the water is not polluted. You also need to know if there are drop-offs, sand bars, strong currents or underwater hazards. The safest place to swim is where there is lifeguard supervision.
- Children under 8 and weak swimmers should stay in water that is less than chest deep and they should be wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFD's). A PFD is no subsitute for adult supervision.
- Do not use water wings or other floating devices as a substitute for a PFD. Ensure the PFD fits and is worn properly and is Transport Canada approved.
- Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. At the first sign of bad weather, get out of the water.
- Drink plenty of water and stay in the shade when it is hot.
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours or after getting out of the water.
- Dive safely. Never dive into unknown water. Always check the water depth before diving. You need water that is at least 8 feet deep and you need at least 25 feet of a clear horizontal dive path in front of you. Do not do back dives or deep vertical dives. Dive with your arms extended above your head and keep at least one arm extended until you resurface.
- Most diving accidents occur in backyard pools and involve young men. Even running into the surf and diving into a wave can be fatal if you strike your head on a sandbar.
- New Brunswickers love to go boating but over one third of our drownings are boating related. Most boating accidents involve alcohol. Nearly all boaters who drowned were not wearing PFD's. Boating plus alcohol and not wearing a PFD is a recipe for disaster.
- Your best protection against accidents in the water is to get trained and be prepared. For more information about swimming lessons or First Aid and Lifesaving contact 506-658-4715.
Buckles is the friendly water safety mascot at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre!
You can find him at special events handing out prizes and water safety information.