Woman floating on body of water. Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash

Water Safety Tips

Whether your favourite way to cool down is by swimming in a lake, river, private pool, the ocean, or taking your motorboat out for a spin, it’s no question that Canadians love spending time in the water.

​Unfortunately, water-related fatalities account for hundreds of Canadian deaths each year. Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in Canada, and the second highest cause of preventable death for children 10 and under.

But water doesn’t have to be dangerous, so long as you follow certain safety guidelines and stay aware of your surroundings. 

​Getting the right training, and knowing how to take care of yourself and others will reduce potential risks and keep everyone safe around the water. We’ve compiled some tips to keep you safe – no matter what your go-to water activity may be.

Wear a Life Jacket

We know you’ve probably heard this little rule a thousand times, but it’s still worth another shout. The majority of those who die in boating deaths were not wearing a personal flotation device or life jacket. Wearing one might feel cumbersome, but it can make the difference between staying alive and becoming a statistic.

Quick Tip: “Life jackets for adults are not suitable for children. They should fit snug and not allow the chin or ears to slip through.”

Get Trained in CPR 

When it comes to your own personal pool, the lifeguard on duty is YOU. Knowing how to perform CPR on both children and adults is incredibly important, as professional help may not arrive fast enough to respond.

Understanding the basics of life-saving CPR and first aid while also keeping your skills up-to-date could prevent a worst case scenario.

​To avoid accidental child drownings, have a gate put up between the house and pool (even better if the gate is self-closing and/or self-locking). If you have a back door that leads out to the pool, it’s also paramount that you keep it child-locked.

Be Pool Safe

Backyard pools are, in fact, one of the most likely places for children under 5 years old to drown. Even water less than 1 meter deep can pose a threat for kids with limited swimming abilities, so make sure they do not wind up near the pool by accident.

According to the Lifesaving Society, while 61% of deaths for children 5 and under were alone near water, 53% of these occurred only during a momentary absence or lapse of a caregiver’s attention.

Many assume they would hear shouting or splashing, but unfortunately, many drownings are completely silent. Be sure to have eyes on young children at all times and remain within reach.

Alcohol & Boating Don't Mix 

According to the Lifesaving Society, roughly 40% of drowning fatalities from recreational boating in Canada are alcohol-related. You wouldn’t drink and drive a motor vehicle, would you? Driving a motorboat under the influence carries similar risks. Impaired vision and decision-making coupled with a fast, heavy, and potentially dangerous vehicle is never a good idea.

Bring a First Aid Kit Along 

Even if you take the appropriate safety measures, accident's can still happen.That's why it is important to have a well-stocked first aid kit wherever you go, but especially near the water.  

Our Outdoor & Sport kit is packed with essential supplies allows you to treat simple cuts, abrasions, and other small wounds quickly and easily onsite. 

Be sure to call 911 if it's a serious emergency.