I have commented several times in my blogs about the drowning of young children in Quebec, on or about St Jean Baptiste. I even suggested that June 25 be known as ‘drowning awareness' day.
This year, sad stories came a few days earlier in the month.On Friday (June 22), a five-year-old girl drowned in the Lievre River in the Laurentians. On Saturday (June 23), a three-year-old boy was pulled unconscious from the family pool in Ste-Martine. On Sunday (June 24), a 23-month old boy also nearly drowned in a family pool in Terrebonne. Both boys are still in critical condition.
With 33 Quebecers drowned so far in 2012, compared to only 22 at the same time last year, plus the near-drowning incidents that happened over the weekend involving very young children, the focus of every parent (camp councilor, teacher, lifeguard, baby-sitter, ...) should be on keeping kids safe around water. For young kids between 2 and 6 years of age, drowning can occur in as little as 20 or 30 seconds.
Vigilance is key; couple of simple steps go a long way in preventing accidents, however constant supervision is a must. Staying within arm’s reach of our young children and the use of lifejackets for inexperienced swimmers are simple prevention tools. Knowing CPR is also essential.
As a former National lifeguard instructor, and director of the CPR Instructor’s Network and father of young children, my condolences go out to all the families affected and urge the public to make our environments safer for everyone.