It’s a sad but true fact: drowning is one of the leading causes of preventable death in children in Canada. In the time that it takes to cross the room to grab a towel, a child can become submerged in water, and all it takes is as little as two inches for a child to drown.
Parents need to constantly supervise their children around the bathtub, sinks and buckets of water – not just at the swimming pool or the beach.
Here are eight ways to keep your kids safe around water:
- Ensure non-swimmers are always wearing a properly fitted life jacket or use a personal floatation device when near or in the water.
- Go swimming where a lifeguard is on duty.
- Do not allow children to dive in headfirst unless they are properly trained and the water is deep enough.
- When in the water with your child, ensure they are within arm’s length at all times.
- If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, make sure you have proper fencing and barriers around it.
- Use extra caution when swimming in areas with strong currents.
- Always actively supervise children when they are near or in water. Don’t assume that someone else is watching your child.
- Enrol your kids in swim lessons. Knowing how to swim is the best way to prevent accidents and deaths in and near the water.
Free water safety classes at YMCA
The YMCA believes that learning to swim is a critical life skill and are committed to helping to ensure children are water safe. That’s why this June, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver is offering free 30-minute water safety classes to help kids learn essential water safety practices and basic survival swimming skills from a highlight qualified YMCA instructor.
Classes include a swim level assessment and are free for kids three to 12 years old – and you don’t need to be a member to participate. Children will gain confidence and skills to help them be water-safe, and after will receive a skill assessment card along with information on how to sign up for YMCA swim lessons.
To learn more or register for the free classes, sign up at your nearest YMCA or call your preferred location today:
- Robert Lee YMCA (Downtown Vancouver): 604-689-9622
- Langara Family YMCA (South Vancouver): 604-324-9622
- Tong Louie Family YMCA (South Surrey): 604-575-9622
- Chilliwack Family YMCA (Chilliwack): 604-792-3371