Lifesaving Facts


*Take a lifesaving course and learn how to reduce the risk of drowning, as well as what to do if something does go wrong. At a minimum, make sure everyone in your family can achieve the Canadian Swim to Survive standard.
*Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device when boating.
*Don't drink and drive your boat.
*Always closely supervise children; keep them within arms' reach and, whenever possible, choose to swim in an area supervised by a lifeguard

Vital Facts to Live by:
Within Arms Reach
If you're not ‘within arms' reach' of your child, you've gone too far. The reality is that drowning can happen very quickly, in as little as 10 seconds. Anything further away than two feet is not ‘within arms' reach' and it is simply not safe.

Drowning is silent
Drowning can take place in as little as 10 seconds and is a silent killer. It can occur in just inches of water, such as a bathtub or wading pool.  The Lifesaving Society stresses that parents never leave their children alone near water because they may not hear a child who is in the process of drowning.

Lifejackets and swimming lessons save lives
A lifejacket is absolutely the best and only flotation device that should be used to keep young children safe when they are in or around water. The lifejacket will bring the child into the upright position should they fall into water face first whereas water wings or inflatable rings or tubes will not. It is important to stress that everyone should wear a lifejacket when they are boating or waterskiing.
Restricting children's access to a backyard pool

Every municipality has their own bylaw on fencing pools, and all of them, except Toronto, require that backyard pools be fenced on three sides, with the fourth side being the house. However, the reality is that most toddlers drown in backyard pools, and most children who drown in backyard pools gain access from the house. The Lifesaving Society, along with most Ontarians, agrees with the City of Toronto's approach. Toronto is at the forefront, and has the only bylaw in North America which requires that all four sides of a pool to be fenced.



Drowning & Water Safety Fact Sheet


Below is a summary of facts about drowning deaths in Canada. The statistics are from data compiled from the Chief Coroner's Offices in all provinces. The year 2006 is the most recent year for which data is available.


In Canada:


  • Nearly 500 people die every year in water-related incidents
    • In 2006 508 people drowned in Canada


  • Drowning deaths decreased for children from 0-17 years of age, but increased for adults 18-34 and adults 50-64
    • The highest increase in drownings was among 50-64 year olds. Adults 18-34 had the next highest drowning increase


  • Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age


  • 61 per cent of drownings occur in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and waterfalls


  • 6 per cent of all drowning deaths (32 total) occurred in private pools


  • 57 per cent of drowning deaths occur while participating in aquatic activities such as swimming or boating


  • 58 per cent of drowning deaths occurred while the victims were engaged in recreational activities


  • Of the total number of drowning deaths, 85 per cent were amongst males and 15 per cent were amongst females

Drowning can occur very quickly, in as little as 10 seconds, and is often silent. The Lifesaving Society offers these drowning prevention tips:


  • Restrict and control access to the water. Enclose backyard pools on all four sides with a fence and a self-latching, self-closing gate; drain bathtubs when not in use; empty unattended wading pools and buckets


  • Wear a lifejacket when boating. Toddlers should wear a lifejacket anytime they are near water


  • Don't drink and drive your boat


  • Stay within arms' reach of young children when they are near water - in the backyard, the beach and in the bathroom


  • Go to lifeguard-supervised beaches and pools


  • Learn to swim. Enroll children in swimming lessons and in a swimming survival program such as the Lifesaving Society's Swim to Survive


  • In the winter, check ice before going out on it - clear, hard, new ice is the safest for travel. Avoid slushy or moving ice and ice that has thawed and refrozen

Read more information here...