Red Cross Infographic – Child Drownings in Canada

Red Cross Infographic - Child Drownings in Canada



Children and Water: Prevention is Key to Avoiding Accidents

The potential for drowning should be on every parent’s mind when they send their child into water, whether it’s a swimming pool, a hot tub, or a natural body of water. Teaching your child to swim is the biggest step to take in preventing unnecessary drownings, but knowing the risks and imparting those on your child–regardless of their age–is incredibly important as well. The statistics regarding children drowning in Canada are sobering, especially when you see that many of them were completely preventable if safety precautions had been employed and enforced.

The Importance of Supervision

Watching your child when they’re in the water seems like it should be natural, but in the advent of technology, every parent is guilty of looking away far too often than they should. Even if you aren’t trained to recognize the signs of drowning, your supervision helps keep your child out of situations that increase their risk of accidents.

Shockingly, only 50 percent of parents say they constantly supervise their children when they’re around water. This means supervision is lacking before the child is even in the water, and when you consider one in three children who drown weren’t expected to even be in the water, this could be a deadly mistake.

Swimming with Other Children

Statistics show that kids ages five to 14 years old who drowned were with another child twice as often as those who were alone. There is a variety of reasons why drowning risks go up with other kids around, but 85 percent of parents supervise less because they feel the buddy system is safer, and kids are more likely to be reckless when they’re playing with their peers.

Knowing the Signs of Drowning

Drowning is often silent. Movies have portrayed drownings as something where children are able to scream, kick, and flail, drawing attention to themselves. This is very rarely true, and one in two parents believe that listening for danger is as good as watching for it. It’s important to remember, too, that drowning doesn’t have to occur in deep water. Four in 10 kids drown in water that’s less than one meter deep, and 90 percent of the children who drown in shallow water aren’t accompanied by an adult.

Drowning statistics are scary, but they serve as warnings of what not to do when it comes to keeping kids safe in the water. Keep these statistics in mind as you get your child enrolled in swimming lessons, and you’ll remain vigilant and proactive.