Sunday, July 29, 2012

Water Safety

I've been told the story more than once over the years. I have no memory of the event, although I do remember other events from that summer, in spite of how young I was.

My grandfather found me. I was lying face down in the little stream behind our house. He grabbed me up out of it as quick as he could. I was unresponsive. I was two years old.

My grandmother revived me. I'm not clear on the details - what she did, how she knew, how long I was out.

What I do know, is that I wandered out of the house alone while she was looking after my infant brother. And I almost drowned. But I was lucky. My grandfather was there in time and my grandparents saved my life that day. I'm still deeply afraid of drowning, and my heart is breaking this summer at the number of drowning deaths that are occurring in our province. 

Backyard pools and ponds or busy public beaches - too many people are dying. So, I'm getting on my soapbox, and I'm going to share with you some important information on water safety from the Canadian Red Cross. This isn't a sponsored post. It's something I feel strongly about and want to highlight here where I can say whatever I want. I expect the Red Cross won't mind me sharing and/or paraphrasing.
© Lastdays1 | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos
  • Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children aged 1-4
  • In nearly half of infant and toddler drownings, the child was alone (like me!) Adult supervision is key.
  • A small child can drown in only a few inches of water - just enough to cover the mouth and nose
  • Home swimming pools account for 38% of toddler drownings.
  • Since 1991, only 4% of reported toddler drownings were in pools with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • If all home pools were equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, nearly all toddler pool drownings and about one-third of all toddler drownings could be eliminated.
  • Always empty those little wading pools when finished playing (that's more than enough water to drown!)
  • Young children ages 1 to 4 and men ages 15 to 44 are at the greatest risk of drowning
  • Alcohol and swimming don't mix
  • Always be aware of currents when swimming in open water.- you can be swept away in an instant
  • Always wear your lifejacket, in the appropriate size, and properly secured, whenever you are in a boat
  • And I was always told - swim with a buddy.
© Spepple22 | Stock Free Images
Dreamstime Stock Photos
For more information, please read the following two documents from the Canadian Red Cross:
Summer Water Safety
Lifejacket Wear and Boating Safety

Please be safe! Make sure your backyard pools and ponds are secure and safe. Supervise your children closely around any water. Know your limits and abilities and don't take crazy risks. It ain't worth it.


  1. Amazing tips and an amazing story ...such an important issue ...

  2. Thanks Dee. I just hope these tips help someone!


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