Growing up on a lake I had the privilege of always having water nearby. I loved the sound of it lapping against the shore and delighted in afternoons on the dock or skating on it’s frozen surface. Water has always been calming to me and I cannot remember life before I could swim.
As soon as I was old enough, my mom put me in swimming lessons to ensure that I felt comfortable around the water, and that I was safe around the water. But, no matter what swimming level I reached, every time I was in or near the water my mom was right there watching. Even in my teen years (when I definitely wanted her to be far away) she would pull her chair onto the dock and keep an eye on everyone. The rule was – if anyone was in, on or near the water there needed to be an adult supervising. I felt that was a silly rule, one that didn’t need to be in place, but as a mom now I understand why it’s so important to ensure there is proper adult supervision at all times. It is the key to water safety.
This One Thing Is The Difference Between Water Safety and Tragedy
Active supervision by a responsible adult.
It might seem like a simple solution, but water safety really comes down to just one thing, adult supervision. But not any supervision, active adult supervision by a responsible adult. That means the adult is not reading, texting or doing other things – they are watching the swimming area and ensuring everyone is taken care of.
Drowning statistics show that an average of 35 children aged 1-14 die by drowning each year while playing in or around the water (statistics from 2009-2014). These tragedies could be prevented with active adult supervision. With 1 in 5 fatalities a result of children under the age of 5 falling in the water it’s easy to see that active adult supervision is the key to preventing death and serious injury.
Take time to understand what drowning looks like (it’s not like the movies) and follow our water safety tips. Visit redcross.ca for more information on how to keep your kids safe around water.
Please note – some elements of this video may be disturbing to some but the message is very important:
Water Safety Tips
- Require young children or weak swimmers to wear a lifejacket.
- Active adult supervision is required at all times.
- Backyard pools should be properly fenced and have self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Pool decks and docks should be free of toys and debris to prevent trips and falls.
- Kiddie pools should be drained when not supervised.
- Adults should be trained in how to perform a safe rescue.
- Enrol children in Red Cross swimming lessons to teach them the skills to stay afloat
- Adults who are non-swimmers or weak swimmers should enrol in Red Cross swimming lessons to learn swimming skills and rescue skills
- Drinking alcohol and water don’t mix – alcohol should be avoided for those in, on or near the water.
Take some time to review these tips with your family. Sign those who need lessons up for Red Cross lessons and training.
Disclosure: I am sharing this important message as a member of the Red Cross Canada water and pool safety blog team working with Thrifty Mom Media. I have received compensation but this issue is extremely important to me. As always, my opinion is my own.