Parental action, water safety classes key at preventing drownings: expert

A recent spate of drowning incidents in Ontario and Quebec has led to renewed calls for more vigilance around water and making swimming lessons part of the school curriculum.

The issue was top of mind Tuesday following the death of a six-year-old who was pulled from a Montreal pool. A lifeguard had been on duty and several other people were swimming nearby when the incident happened Monday, officials said.

Also Monday, a 13-year-old girl was pulled from a small lake at a campground in southwestern Ontario and later died in hospital. And last week, a five-year-old girl and her mother drowned in an unsupervised pool at a resort west of Collingwood, Ont.

Lifeguards are a great preventative measure, said Barbara Byers, of the Lifesaving Society, a charity devoted to preventing drownings.

“If they’re guarding at a pool and they see a non-swimmer, they’ll make sure the non-swimmer stays in the shallow area, they’ll make sure they stay away from the drop-off, they’ll make sure they have a parent within arm’s reach.”

Less than one per cent of drownings in Ontario and Quebec occur in “lifeguard-supervised” environments, said Byers.

But parents and guardians should always keep a close eye on their children when they’re in the water, she suggested.

“We always tell parents that lifeguards aren’t babysitters.”

Teaching kids to swim is among the best ways to prevent drownings, Byers added.

“Swimming requires instruction,” she said. ”We’re not fish. We don’t just have the ability to learn how to swim on our own.”

“If we can ensure that all kids learn these skills during school time, then we can provide them with that training, irrespective of whether the parents are aware of the need for the children to learn how to swim,” Byers said.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s Christmas Wish Breakfast helps children by collecting toys

Donations go to Red Deer Salvation Army and Red Deer Christmas Bureau

Two Central Alberta school districts pay to prepare grads for diploma exams

Clearview and Wolf Creek want all Grade 12 students to Rock the Diplomas

‘Blow themselves up:’ Police worried about butane hash oil extractions at home

CALGARY — Alberta law enforcement officials say they are worried that the… Continue reading

Data suggests violence rising in Winnipeg remand jail; union says meth a factor

WINNIPEG — Newly obtained statistics point to increasing violence at the Winnipeg… Continue reading

Photos: Hundreds attend Red Deer Lights the Night

Cold weather didn’t stop people from enjoying holiday festivities

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

Trump on Khashoggi death tape: ‘No reason for me to hear it’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said there is no reason for him… Continue reading

Searchers in California fires step up efforts ahead of rain

CHICO, Calif. — Searchers combing a Northern California town levelled by a… Continue reading

Disney details new ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ attractions

ORLANDO, Fla. — “Star Wars” fans will soon be able to pilot… Continue reading

Pacific summit ends with no communique as China, US differ

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — An acrimonious meeting of world leaders… Continue reading

Pope decries that ‘wealthy few’ feast on what belongs to all

VATICAN CITY — Championing the cause of the poor, Pope Francis on… Continue reading

Steep food discounts at U.S. stadiums slow to move north of the border

When the new home of the Atlanta Falcons and United FC opened… Continue reading

Macron, Merkel seek common approaches to Trump, euro

FRANKFURT — French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel consulted… Continue reading

Children of migrants living in U.S. pushing up American asylum-seeker numbers

OTTAWA — As Canada grapples with an influx of irregular asylum seekers,… Continue reading

Most Read