According to the Canadian Red Cross, an average of 400 people drown each year, making it one of the leading causes of unintentional death in Canada for child ages one to four. For many Canadians, their water safety strategy includes not allowing their children to access a pool or water area, but that isn’t always the most effective plan, as it relies solely on verbal commands. It only takes seconds for a child to disappear and less than three centimeters of water for a baby to drown, meaning parents and caregivers must be vigilant when around water.
Shannon Scully-Pratt, Water Safety Program Representative with the Canadian Red Cross, admits that “swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Learning to swim is important, but learning water safety is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water.”
Here are 10 things a parent must know before taking their child to an area with water, courtesy of the Canadian Red Cross.