Water Safety

Girl in a pool with parent at arms length.

For many of us, the different seasons include various water activities such as swimming, boating, skating or hiking. The Ottawa Police would like to educate and remind residents of the importance of water safety to help prevent injuries or drowning.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Canadian children aged one to four while men, ages 15 to 34, are at the greatest risk of drowning.

Drowning Prevention for Children

Child playing in a creek during the Spring.

When it comes to children, supervision is essential to preventing injuries and providing a fun but safe environment for them to enjoy the outdoors.

A child can drown in less than 2" (5cm) of water. In fact, the most common location for infant drownings is the bathtub while home swimming pools account for about 38% of toddler drownings.

In Ottawa, the Pool Enclosure By-Law, requires every owner of a privately owned outdoor pool to make the pool inaccessible to small children by having and maintaining an enclosure around their pool.

Ensure children are supervised - even those who can swim. In nearly half of the infant and toddler drownings, the victims were found alone.

Always keep kids within an arm's reach when near any Ottawa Fire Service's Water Rescue Crew member holding a wet dog, rescued from the river.water.

Remind kids to stay away from ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes. During Spring and Fall, water levels can be be higher than usual and are often accompanied by soft, slippery banks that are treacherous, particularly for young children, adults and pets.

Drowning Prevention for Adults

Factors for adults in water-related fatalities often include alcohol consumption and difficulty navigating changes in water current. Don't consume alcohol before or during swimming or boating activities. When boating, ensure everyone in the boat has a well fitted lifejacket on and fastened.

*Source: www.redcross.ca