The Sticky Files.

Water safety is critical for little ones and big ones alike

Have fun but be safe

So far it hasn’t exactly felt like summer. It has been cold and rainy but it still feels good to get out. My kids love the beach and are both total water rats which makes me so nervous. We spend a lot of time by the river or the lake even though it hasn’t exactly been beach weather. We also own a water table and have a hot tub. I think I’m cautious around water but I always worry. Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death. It only takes a couple of minutes for a child to drown. There have already been several drowning deaths this season in Canada. Last week a 24-year-old former UBC football star drowned in the Fraser River and in the last two weeks there have been three separate drowning incidents of children in northern Sask. Ontario Provincial Police say a 47-year-old Sudbury man is dead after drowning in a lake last Monday. It can happen anywhere and to anyone. Water is incredibly powerful and can be scary. It deserves respect.

READ LAST WEEK’S THE STICKY FILES: How do we unplug our children?

However, that doesn’t mean stop taking your children to the beach or avoid canoe rides. A lot of fun can be had but don’t let your guard down. According to experts one of the biggest mistakes a caregiver or parent can make is a slight slip in supervision. It is easy when there are a lot of people around to think someone else is watching the children. Or if there is a lifeguard on duty, it is easy to stop being cautious. But drowning can be easy to miss. In movies, when someone is drowning it is a dramatic event with a lot screaming and waving of the arms. However, in real life, it is very quiet. When a child starts to drown, they sink quietly.

Here are some tips I’ve collected in the last couple years.

1. Supervision is key. It sounds obvious but it is so important to have one adult watching one child (If it is possible) and if that adult needs to leave or do something else, tag out and tag someone in. Also, supervising adults need to be sober.

2. Swimming lessons. Again, another obvious one but so important.

3. Don’t trust floaties and water wings.

4. Wear a lifejacket and buy a proper fitting one.

5. Learn CPR. Your skills could save a life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.

6. Lock up the pool or hot tub. We installed buckles on our hot tub lid that are very difficult to undo so our children won’t be able to lift the lid and get inside without our knowledge. Pools need proper fencing with locks on the gates and any door going outside to the pool area also needs a lock that children can’t undo. This all may sound scary but you can have fun in the water and be safe. The worst part of my job is reporting on the death of a child. So let’s all have fun and be extra careful around water this summer.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Who is or may be running in Stikine in the provincial election

Cullen nomination sparks controversy over NDP equity policy

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Witset releases COVID-19 strategy following three confirmed cases

Plan implements strict measures to contain spread of the virus

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Most Read