Swimming safety for kids

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Please be aware of public health guidelines before going to splash pad, pools or public parks and beaches. For your safety, go to RestartMB Pandemic Response System to know the latest public health orders, restriction and guidance.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children under the age of 10 in Canada (CMAS Canada.ca’s New in Canada Child Safety Series brochure). This happens because no one is watching them. Backyard pools are the most common places for children under five years old to drown.

Here are some safety tips:

Set swimming rules

Give your children safety rules. For example:

  • Keep at least two metres away from other kids/people who are not part of your household.
  • Wear a flotation device especially if you don’t know how to swim.
  • Never swim alone. Always pair up with a buddy.
  • Always check the depth of the water before going in or diving.
  • Don’t go in the deep area of the pool (or lake) especially if they are not good swimmers yet.
  • Children below five should not play in above knee water.
  • Older kids who are intermediate swimmers should not swim in water higher than their chest.

Watch and supervise

An adult should always watch the children. Stay within an arm’s length of your child if your child is under five or is a weak swimmer. Always wear life jackets before getting in the water.

Teach kids Swim to Survive

Swim to Survive is a three-step technique for kids. It teaches them what do in case they fall into water. Watch and learn from the video below (This video is also available in French, Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi and Tamil here: Swim to Survive YouTube):

Swim to Survive, Ontario Branch of the Lifesaving Society

Go to swimming lessons

You and your children should learn to swim. There are many programs available in Manitoba for you and your children (check this page for courses). To better protect them, learn basic First Aid and CPR. These skills could save their lives.

Practice pool safety

If you have a pool at home, put up a 1.2 m (4 ft) fence on all four sides. Include a gate that locks, closes and latches itself. This will prevent your baby, toddler or pets from falling in. Diving boards or slides should have a non-slip surface. Turn over wading pools so that they cannot fill up with rainwater.

Lifesaving equipment and a telephone should always be close by for emergencies.
 
Article updated June 17, 2021.
 
Adapted from: New in Canada Parenting Support Child Safety Series, Learn about swimming safety, CMAS Canada/CIC/Lifesaving Society

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Community Resources

The Canadian Red Cross website has information on summer water safety and CPR courses.

Visit the Lifesaving Society Manitoba site to know more about the Water Smart program.

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