Drowning Prevention Week: July 18 – 24, 2021

July and August mean sunny skies, busy beaches and lots of people out on the water. While rivers, lakes, and oceans may provide a way to escape the heat this summer, July and August also see a spike in drowning rates.

It only takes seconds to drown and most incidents are silent and unexpected, a far cry from the splashing and dramatic screams of Baywatch. A submersion incident where water has entered the lungs can cause complications – and even death- up to 72 hours after a swimmer has struggled in the water.

National Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) – the third week of July – is an annual initiative of the Lifesaving Society aimed at reducing the number of water-related fatalities and drowning incidents by promoting water safety messages in the community.

Drowning is Preventable. Over 400 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many. So how can you keep yourself and others safe?

Watch me, not your phone. Always directly supervise children around the water – if you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.

• Be Boat Smart – Wear a Lifejacket. Choose It. Use It. Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD when in a boat.

• Learn to Swim to Survive. In most drownings, the victim never intended to go in the water and was often close to safety – could you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water?

Open Water Safety and Swim with a Buddy. Make smart choices before going into or out on the water.

Know your limits. Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost many boating-related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impaired judgment, reflexes and balance. Stay sober when in, on or around the water.

• Be Water Smart all year round. You can save a life, yours and someone else’s. Take a learn-to-swim, lifesaving or first aid class today.

Resources to Learn More