High water levels in and around Ottawa this spring mean water safety is on everyone’s minds. At Dovercourt, teaching water safety is as important as teaching the technical skills of swimming. Each year, more than 150 people drown in Ontario, and drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under five years old. Statistics also show that children under 12, boaters, young men, and seniors are at greatest risk of drowning. Many people don’t even know what drowning looks like. Drowning is fast and silent; there’s no splashing and no screaming.
Thankfully, every drowning death is preventable with water safety knowledge and common sense.
- Learn to swim
- Always swim with a buddy
- Children and non-swimmers should always be supervised around water
- Wear a lifejacket whenever you are in a boat
- Alcohol and water don’t mix: don’t drink and swim, don’t drink and drive a boat
While many adults may not feel the need to freshen up their swim abilities, baby boomers are the fastest growing group of drownings. Regardless of how well you swam as a child, your ability diminishes with age or reduced practice. Dovercourt’s swim lessons are for all ages and stages, from infants to adults. Adults sometimes take unnecessary risks, overestimate their abilities, or use alcohol while boating or near water. At Dovercourt, adults can update their water safety skills by signing up for registered, private or drop in swim lessons.
In addition to their swim lessons, Dovercourt provides lifeguards in all of their programs that are near or in water, including in their summer camps, SUP, rafting, lifeguarding and sailing programs. They also offer a “rent a lifeguard or instructor” program, where people can hire one of their highly trained staff to teach or guard at a pool – take advantage of this valuable program if you plan on hosting a pool party this summer! The single most important way to keep everyone safe is to ensure that everyone is supervised in and around water. If you know the risks, you can establish water rules so everyone can stay safe and have fun.