Norfolk Aims to Increase Young Swimmer Safety with Second Annual Water Safety Day

Norfolk County, Ontario has successfully held its second annual Community Water Safety Day. The event was held on June 21, the summer solstice, at Port Dover beach. The special day was put together as a partnership between many different leisure and law enforcement groups to help promote the health and safety of local children by educating their parents on the biggest risks this summer season. Thanks in no small part to events like Norfolk’s Water Safety Day, the incidence of children drowning in Norfolk, 63% of which occur in lakes, streams, and rivers, has decreased over the last few years.

Summer is Always a Deadly Season for Children
Norfolk’s event isn’t exactly unique. In fact, there is an International Water Safety Day held every year in May to help families planning to get into the water to beat the summer sun keep themselves safe. Swimming techniques, how to avoid sunstroke, how long to wait between eating and swimming: these are just a few of the things most of these events typically cover in their safety education courses. One of the biggest concerns is leaving children unsupervised. 70% of children who drown are near a pool or other body of water when parents aren’t expecting them to be. The children most at risk of drowning, as a study from the Canadian Red Cross shows, are only one to four-years-old. With their tendency to wander off toward whatever catches their eyes, children in that age group are three-times as likely to drown as children ages 10 to 14. While these events can’t exactly teach parents to be more attentive of their young children, they can show them what happens when they let their guard down. That, with just a little luck, will make all the difference.

Do you attend your local area’s water safety day? What sort of tips do they teach you? Let us know in the comments below!

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