Swimming, bath time, and water play can be a lot of fun for children. Parachute wants families to enjoy swimming and water play as a part of a healthy active lifestyle.
Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death for Canadian children. Every year almost 60 children drown. This is equal to more than two classrooms full of children. Each year another 140 children must stay in the hospital because they nearly drowned. Near-drowning can result in long-term health effects. It can affect the way a child thinks, learns, and plays.
But there is something you can do to keep children safe. Active supervision of children when they are around or in the water, proper pool fencing, the use of lifejackets, adult training in first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and children’s swimming lessons can help prevent drowning.
Among all age groups, boys are more likely to drown than girls. This may be because parents accept more risk taking in boys than in girls.
Children under five years of age
All children are at risk for drowning, but young children under five years of age are at special risk because:
- They are attracted to water but cannot understand the danger
- They can walk but they cannot swim
- Their lungs are smaller than adults' and fill quickly with water
- They can drown in as little as 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of water
Children five to 14 years of age
- Older children are at risk because they may overestimate their own skills, underestimate the depth of the water or strength of the current, or respond to a dare from a friend.
- Physical strength develops throughout childhood. Even a good swimmer can get into trouble, especially in unfamiliar water or environments.