COLUMN: Water safety precautions urged

The Lifesaving Society ran its 2016 National Drowning Prevention Week July 18 to 23.

The Lifesaving Society ran its 2016 National Drowning Prevention Week July 18 to 23.

Consistent with previous years, “80 per cent of drowning victims are male and those aged 20 to 29 years are most at risk of drowning.  Alcohol consumption is a factor in nearly half of the incidents and for boaters, not wearing a lifejacket is the major contributor to boat-related drownings.”

To date there have been 21 drowning in B.C. this year.  “On average, 80 people lose their lives to drowning in B.C. each year.”

The National Drowning Prevention Week is “meant to remind everyone to take precautions when on or around the water this summer.”

Here are some statistics, according to British Columbia Drowning Report 2016 from the Lifesaving Society:

o By district, the greatest number of fatalities from drowning fatalities in 2013 occurred in Metro Vancouver (19 per cent), followed by Central Okanagan (eight per cent).

o 85 per cent of all drowning deaths occur in natural bodies of water (e.g. lakes, rivers, ocean) and not wearing a lifejacket was a factor in 51 per cent of all boating related drownings.

o Drowning fatalities occurring in lifeguard supervised settings continue to be rare: in 2009-2013 less than two per cent of drowning deaths in British Columbia occurred under lifeguard supervision.

o Most people drown in water that is less than 15 metres from safety.

Risk factors for boating

o Not wearing a PFD (72 per cent where known)

o Falling overboard (40 per cent)

o Alcohol Consumption (40 per cent)

o Boating Alone (33 per cent)

o Capsizing (30 per cent)

Risk factors for swimming

o Poor Swimming Ability (26 per cent)

o Alcohol Consumption (26 per cent)

o Swimming Alone (20 per cent)

ABC’s of Child Water Safety

Active Supervision — If you are not within arm’s reach, you’ve gone too far.

Designate at least one adult to be the ‘parent lifeguard’ who is doing nothing other than watching the kids.

They can get into trouble quickly and can slip under the water very quietly without the expected shouting and waving.

Barriers — The majority of backyard pool incidents involve a child getting into a pool area when they shouldn’t.

Proper, four sided (without one side being an entry to the house), self–closing, self-latching, min. 1.2 m (4 feet) high gate is vital.

Classes — Adults responsible for supervising children around water should have some basic knowledge of what to do when things go wrong.

Take a CPR or first aid course or lifesaving course at your local pool.

Also, swimming and water safety classes for children help to ensure their survival from an unexpected fall into the water.

Summerland schools are a leader in drowning prevention programming.  Giant’s Head and Trout Creek Elementary run a Summerland Swim Program (10 Red Cross lessons) for Grade 3 students which is fully supported by the PAC and a K-5 Learn to Swim program (four lessons) for all other grades.

The Summerland Montessori School also provides Red Cross Swim Lessons for all grades.

Be proactive with your swimming and lifesaving abilities.  The Summerland Aquatic Centre offers swim lessons for all ages and abilities as well as Standard First Aid and CPR, and Lifeguarding courses.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.

 

Just Posted

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Lakeshore Racquets Club hosts the 23rd Credit Union Cup

Tournament in Summerland draws teams from around the Okanagan Valley

Summerland to hold cross-country races Sept. 29

Trail races will be held at Summerland Rodeo Grounds

LETTER: Summerland one-day recycling service appreciated

Service on Saturday helped those unable to get to landfill

Summerland Senior Men’s Club plays all net scores event

Golf leagues continue to play in Summerland

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Popular Bird Migration Day open house happening this weekend

Event focuses on bird adaptation to migration, bird conservation issues and threats and bird banding

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Most Read