Water Safety » Ontario Medical Association » Ontario’s Doctors: Putting Ontario’s patients first

Water Safety

When it comes to water safety, a few small changes can lead to a considerable reduction in the number of drowning deaths each year. Hundreds of Canadians lose their lives in drowning events annually. Despite efforts to improve water safety and awareness, Ontario continues to have the highest number of drowning deaths in the country.

Over the past 40 years, the OMA has been working to raise awareness of water safety in order to lower the incidence of these preventable deaths. To date, the OMA has engaged in a number of water safety education initiatives which cover the range of drowning hazards from boating, to falling through ice, to backyard pool safety.

OMA has six key recommendations, which focus on keeping children safe when they’re playing in or around water.

These include:

  • Pool-owners install four-sided pool fences to keep toddlers safe from the danger of falling in
  • Children playing near the water be supervised by an adult at all times
  • Children under 5 and older children who are not strong swimmers wear an approved life jacket whenever they are near the water
  • All children wear an approved life jacket when in a boat, canoe or other water craft
  • Learning to swim and survival skills swimming lessons are an essential part of drowning prevention and should be made mandatory for all children in Ontario
  • Parents should be trained in CPR and rescue breathing, especially if they live near the water or have a pool

A multi-pronged approach to drowning prevention that includes survival skills, swimming lessons, adult supervision, the use of lifejackets, and four-sided pool barriers is recommended by the OMA and other experts in the field.

The OMA hopes that we can all work together to keep Ontario’s children safe in and around the water.

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