National Drowning Prevention Week: Be especially cautious when working from home

21 July, 2020 | Blog

Emilie Paradis

Émilie Paradis

Health and Safety Advisor

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The current pandemic is forcing a lot of people to work from home, and many have their kids with them. Summer’s hot weather is here, and what’s better than cooling off and having fun in the water?

Swimming in a pool or another body of water can certainly be great, but safety precautions must be taken to prevent any sad endings. Unfortunately, drowning accidents have increased this year, and to mark National Drowning Prevention Week (July 19 to 25, 2020), we’ve provided some helpful tips for a happy summer.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in children aged four or younger. Because they can disappear in seconds and drown in only a few centimetres of water, children are especially vulnerable.

Tips for Children

  • Right now, with so many people telecommuting, you should never set your workstation up outside and allow your child to swim at the same time. If your child is swimming, keep distractions away, like books, cellphones or computers.
  • Actively watch your children, both when they’re swimming and when they’re near a body of water.
  • In the water: always stay within arm’s length of a young child.
  • Out of the water: if you need to move further away, bring the child with you and never leave him or her alone in or near the water.
  • Make sure your child has safety equipment that’s adapted to their size, activity and water agility level.
  • Never let children play near pool drains or hold their breath under water; a prolonged lack of oxygen could cause cardiorespiratory arrest.
  • If you have a pool, make sure safety devices (gates, latches, etc.) work properly and are secured.
  • Empty toddler pools after each use.

For the second most at-risk group, males aged 15 to 44, drownings usually occur in large bodies of water. The main causes in these cases are a failure to wear lifejackets, alcohol consumption, overestimating swimming abilities and underestimating water current strength.

 Tips for Adults

  • When taking a boat out on the water, make sure all passengers, including strong swimmers, have an approved lifejacket or personal flotation device that’s the right size and adapted to the activity.
  • Keep up with weather and water conditions and be prepared to move to a safe location if conditions change.
  • Never swim alone; have someone come with you instead.
  • Assess how well your swimming abilities match water conditions, especially in terms of currents, depth and maximum distance from shore.
  • Don’t dive head first into a pool or any other body of water when you don’t know the depth.
  • Don’t consume alcohol when operating a boat or swimming.
  • Take a first-aid course to obtain or update your certification.
  • Take a swimming class to improve your techniques and endurance in the water.

We hope you have a safe summer!

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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