Water safety

Summer water safety tips

Did you know that every year, about 160 people drown in Ontario? In the summer, most of us spend time near water – in a swimming pool, at the beach or maybe at a cottage near a lake and river. Drowning is fast and silent, but every drowning death is preventable with water safety knowledge.

Here are 4 important water safety tips to prevent water-related injuries:

1. Learn to swim.

In Canada, learning how to swim is a life skill. The Lifesaving Society has a Swim to Survive program that teaches the essential skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. The City of Ottawa also offers swimming lessons for all ages and abilities.

2. Have a swim buddy.

Don’t go swimming alone! Always make sure you are with a friend or family member. Approximately one third of 15 to 19-year-old victims were alone when they drowned.

3. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are in a boat.

With so many lakes and rivers, it’s no wonder Canadians love boating, canoeing and kayaking. Did you know that 26% of drownings each year occur during boating activities? And in 80% of boating deaths, boaters are not wearing lifejackets.

4. Alcohol and water don’t mix!

Don’t drink and swim. Don’t drink and drive your boat. In Ontario, if you are convicted of driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol, you will lose your license to operate your boat and your car.

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