In late June, the Lifesaving Society sent out a request to Alberta Mayors asking that municipalities proclaim July 15 to July 21 National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW).
Approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable drowning Incidents each year and in an effort to direct community and media attention to the drowning problem and drowning prevention the Life Saving Society designates the third week in July as NDPW.
Drowning prevention relies on making smart choices such as wearing a life jacket when boating, surfing, or water skiing and avoiding alcohol when engaged in activities related to being in or near the water.
As the Lifesaving Society points out, alcohol consumption is a factor in 40 percent of boating-related fatalities.
It is also importantl for people to not be completely out of their element around water so “Learn to Swim to Survive.”
Surviving an unexpected crisis or helping others survive is about being prepared and learning to swim and taking first aid courses can make the difference between life and death.
The safety of children is, of course, entirely in the hands of the adults responsible for them.
Children in or around water should always be within one’s immediate grasp and adults must be constantly vigilant.
All drowning deaths among young children result from the lack of supervision or distraction on the part of those taking care of them.
Looking at one’s phone while children are around water is a safety violation, no less serious than distracted driving and it can have equally devastating and tragic consequences.
Drowning can happen anywhere there is a sufficient volume of water: lakes, ponds, rivers, swimming pools, even hot tubs and bathtubs.
Activities that result in drowning also cover a broad spectrum to include swimming, boating, diving, jumping and activities such as walking, running or playing near water.
It is certainly appropriate that NDPW happens in mid-summer as 61 percent of drowning fatalities occur between May and September.
At its June 9 meeting, McLennan Town Council voted to proclaim July 15 to July 21 National Drowning Prevention Week.
For more information on NDPW and matters related to drowning prevention, the Lifesaving Society in Edmonton can be reached at 780-415-1755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lifesaving Societies website is www.lifesaving.org.