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With safety precautions, child drowning can be prevented

Some parents make the mistake of thinking that teaching children to swim is all that is needed to prevent drowning accidents. While teaching them to swim absolutely can help, the truth is that taking safety precautions is really the key to preventing these tragic events. Below are a few things that all parents in Ontario should consider:

  • Those who own pools should take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes and get certified.
  • Each second is important, so people must look quickly if they cannot spot a child who may have gone under, even if it's been just a few seconds. Adults should always watch when children swim—even if those children are good swimmers.
  • Life jackets should always be used on boats.
  • Inflatable pool toys should only be used in waist-deep water.
  • Toys should be taken out of the water when children are finished using the pool for the day.
  • Pools should have fences with gates that can be locked. Additionally, any doors that go to the pool need to have alarms so parents know if children have gone into the pool area.
  • Pool covers need to be used when no one is in the water.
  • Rescue equipment, like hooks and life jackets, should always be kept very close to the pool, ideally within arm's reach.
  • These same precautions should be used with small pools and hot tubs, as well as standard pools.

If a child is swimming in an unsupervised pool area and drowns, a wrongful death case may be possible if it's shown that negligence was involved or that the safety precautions noted above were not taken by those in charge of the swimming area.

Source: HealthLinkBC, "Child Safety: Drowning Prevention in Pools and Hot Tubs," accessed Sept. 25, 2015

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