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Water Safety



Children must be supervised and watched at all times when they are near water. This is important whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, an ocean, a lake or a yacht pond. Never take your eyes off them always be close by. Think safety first.

Young children are especially at risk. They can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimetres) of water. That means drowning can happen in a sink, toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, and even streams and ditches filled with rainwater.

Always watch children closely when they're in or near any water, no matter what their swimming skills. Even children who know how to swim can be at risk for drowning. For instance, a child could slip and fall on the pool deck, lose consciousness, and fall into the pool and then possibly drown. My mother's friend had a personal tragedy due to such an incident with a fish pond.

Swimming lessons are an important part of water safety children can start them from 1 year old.  Children often begin with water survival skills training (learning how to roll onto their back and float). Along with swimming lessons, this training can reduce the risk of drowning in children ages 1–4. Kids and parents often can take these classes together. Check local recreation centres for classes taught by a qualified instructor.


If you don't know how to swim, consider taking lessons.

What to do in an emergency

If a child is missing, always check the pool or other body of water first. Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible:

  • If you find a child in the water, get the child out while calling loudly for help. If someone else is nearby, have them call your emergency number. 

  • Check to make sure the child's air passages are clear. If the child is not breathing, start CPR if you are trained to do so. Follow the instructions the emergency operator gives.

  • If you think the child has sustained a neck injury

    1. Keep the child on his or her back.

    2. Brace the neck and shoulders with your hands and forearms to help keep the neck from moving until emergency help arrives. This can help prevent further injury to the spine.

    3. Keep the child still and speak in calm tones to keep the child comforted.

Tips for children's safety

  • Stay away from gravel pits

  • Stay away from ponds with steep sides

  • Stay away from muddy slippery banks

  • Stay away from deep water

  • Stay away from rivers

  • Stay away from canals

  • Observe warning signs and abide by them

  • Stay away from large lakes, and lochs unless you are confident that they are suitable

  • Before sailing make sure you are aware of the position of the nearest life ring

  • Do not leave your children in the care of others

  • If you are unsure about your children's safety near water, make them wear a life vest

  • Teach your children about the dangers of water

  • If you are unsure about the safety of the body of water keep away

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