Children and Families

Children and families love to spend time around the water. To make sure everyone has fun, it's important to know how to stay safe and be Water Smart. Children under 12 have an increased drowning risk and need attentive supervision in and around the water. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years.

Adults, especially men, sometimes take unnecessary risks, overestimate their abilities, or use alcohol while boating. Older adults may not realize that medications and age can change their abilities. Knowing the risks and understanding water safety can help enure that everyone has fun.

Water safety facts:

  • Children under five, young men and older adults have the highest drowning risk
  • Teenage brains can encourage risk-taking behaviour
  • Drowning can occur in is little as a few centimetres of water
  • Drowning is fast and silent
  • Bathtub drownings occur every year among young children and older adults

Water safety tips for children and families:

  • Stay within arms' reach of children under five
  • Stay On Guard! Supervision of children and non-swimmers is key
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Alcohol and water don't mix. Don't drink and swim. Don't drink and drive your boat
  • Always wear a lifejacket when you are in a boat
  • Take swimming lessons
  • Swim in lifeguarded areas

Water safety tips specifically for older adults:

  • Always swim and boat with a buddy
  • Alcohol and water don't mix. Don't drink and swim. Don't drink and drive your boat
  • Always wear a lifejacket when you are in a boat
  • Check your medication for possible side effects that will affect your endurance or swimming ability
  • Know your limits - age and health can affect your swimming abilities

Learn to Swim

Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The Lifesaving Society offers training programs from learn-to-swim through advanced lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.

Our Swim for Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water SmartĀ® education that will last a lifetime.

Swim to Survive is a Lifesaving Society survival training program. Swim to Survive is not a subsititute for swimming lessons; instead, it defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. People of all ages should be able to perform the Society's Swim to Survive standard.