I can’t believe the summer is half over! I just got back from an amazing family vacation to Nova Scotia where my in laws have a cottage on a lake. My kids were in heaven, each day was filled with a variety of swimming, jet skiing, fishing or playing in the paddle boat. Now that we are home we plan on doing the same here with all the incredible lakes, rivers and beaches the Cowichan Valley has to offer. I am sure most of you are doing the same. With all this beautiful weather it is hard to think of a better way to spend the rest of the summer than at the water. So I figured now was a good time to remind you all how important it is to be Water Smart.
Every year hundreds of Canadians drown while participating in water activities. What was supposed to be a fun-filled day quickly turns into a preventable tragedy. According to a Canadian Red Cross Report:
- Young kids 1-4 years of age and Males ages 15-44 are at the greatest risk of drowning.
- Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian Children ages 1-4.
- Other factors in adult water-related incidents included alcohol consumption.
While these are scary facts they are all preventable. One of the easiest ways to prevent an incident is always watch kids in and around water…ALWAYS. And not the kind where you are reading your book on the sand and glancing up every few minutes. You need to ACTIVELY SUPERVISE them.Kids can disappear within seconds, and a small child can drown in only a few centimeters of water. Plus isn’t swimming with your kids way more fun than burning on the beach.
If you are unsure of your childs swimming ability put them in a lifejacket/ PFD, but remember you still need to watch them. A lifejacket is not a substitute for you.
It’s also a great idea to put your kids in Red Cross Swim Lessons. They will not only learn how to swim but they will be taught Water safety Skills as well.
You can register your kids in Red Cross Swim Lessons at Cowichan Aquatic Centre and Crofton Outdoor Pool visit http://www.northcowichan.ca for the swim lesson shedule.
Make sure you are familiar with where you are swimming, don’t dive if it is shallow or you are unsure of the depth. Know the drop off area, and always wear a lifejacket / PFD when doing any kind of boating activity.
For more information about lifejackets and PFD’s check out the Red Cross Website http://www.redcross.ca
Take a First Aid course so you are prepared to deal with any unexpected emergencies that could arise. Keep a First Aid kit stocked and accessible.
Summer is half way over, get out there and soak up the sun! Be Water Smart and you will ensure you and your family will have a great time.
Here’s a picture on our trip of my two kids doing just that.