City services | July 19, 2021
July 18 to 24, 2021 is National Drowning Prevention Week, a week that raises awareness of drowning prevention to increase the public’s ability to prevent water-related injury and death. This time of year, many residents and visitors are flocking to Mississauga’s beaches, outdoor pools, waterfront parks and cottages to beat the heat.
The City is encouraging those who participate in water activities, such as swimming, fishing and boating, as well as those who walk, run or play near the water, to do so in a safe manner. Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, stay alert, take precautions, understand the risk factors and follow all safety guidelines to prevent injury or accidents.
According to the Lifesaving Society, a national charitable organization that works to prevent water-related injuries, there are approximately 500 water-related fatalities in Canada each year. Thirty-four per cent of these deaths occur in lakes or ponds and 29 per cent in rivers. Additionally, 66 per cent of these drownings take place during the warmer months, between May and September.
Whether you’re swimming, boating or spending time by the water, remember to look for dangers associated with the water and know the risk factors for drowning, which include not using a personal floatation device, alcohol consumption, being a weak or non-swimmer and being alone. It’s also important to know your surroundings at all times and to familiarize yourself with the water conditions.
Learn to swim – It’s important to develop confidence in the water and just as important that you and your children learn basic swimming and water safety skills that will help to prevent drowning. The City will resume offering learn-to-swim classes for all ages and skill levels in the fall, pending Provincial regulations permit. Advanced leadership programs (i.e. Lifeguard training programs) are planned to start later this month. To learn more visit mississauga.ca/swimming.
Learn CPR and First Aid – Learning CPR and first aid can be a very valuable skill that saves lives. To learn more, please visit Lifesaving Society CPR & First Aid.
Wear a lifejacket – Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD) when on a boat. The law requires that a PFD be on board for each person on a boat. In addition, inexperienced swimmers should wear them at all times when swimming in pools or other bodies of water.
Swim with a buddy – It’s important to always have someone swim with you, where possible, in case something happens. Let someone know when, where and how long you plan on swimming for. When you are done swimming, check in with them to let them know you are safe.
Keep children within arm’s reach – Protect children from drowning by actively supervising them when they are in or around water. Keep them within reach in case something happens, so you are close enough to help.
Swim in supervised areas – For a sense of security and safety, swim in zones that are supervised by lifeguards, such as one of the City’s seven outdoor pools.
During National Drowning Prevention Week, each of the City’s outdoor pools will be offering water safety education. Additional resources can also be found online in the Family Fun Corner.
Learn more at mississauga.ca/swimming.
For more information about City recreation programs visit mississauga.ca/recreation.