For many Canadian families, summer includes activities such as boating and swimming. But each year, tragic and avoidable water-related fatalities occur across Canada. A Canadian Red Cross report examining these fatalities over 10 years revealed many common factors:

  • Young children ages 1 to 4 and men ages 15 to 44 are at the greatest risk of drowning.
  • Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian children ages one to four.
  • A small child can disappear in seconds and can drown in only a few centimeters of water – enough to cover the mouth and nose.
  • Typically these drowning occur in backyard pools, toddler pools, the bathtub, or at the beach.
  • Small children are also the most vulnerable group for near drowning. For every death, near-drowning incidents, which require hospitalization and often result in varying degrees of brain damage.
  • Infants and toddlers drowned mainly in bathtubs and pools, whereas older children and youth drowned mainly in large bodies of water.

Other factors for adults in water-related fatalities included current and alcohol consumption.
Though important, swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Many drowning incidents involve other factors that swimming skills alone cannot prepare an individual for.
Learning water safety-such as how to prepare for an emergency, and what to do if one should occur-is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water. It’s swimming skills combined with safety knowledge and skills that saves lives.

I. Drowning & Water Safety
II. Where Drownings and near-Drownings Occur
III. Why the Risk of Drowning Increased
IV. Protecting Your Family & Yourself
V. Education is the Key