Backyard pools provide hours of fun and relief from the hot, humid days of summer. Tragically, they are also the most common location for drowning or near drowning in our city.
Drowning deaths are preventable. Taking these simple and sensible steps will help make your summer water play, in pools, rivers and lakes, fun and tragedy-free.
Keep children close
- Parents and caregivers are reminded to keep children, especially toddlers, within arm’s reach when in or close to water.
Wear a PFD
- Children who cannot easily and confidently swim should never go near water without a lifejacket or personal floatation device. Lifejackets only work when they are being worn.
Watch kids and close gates
- Be vigilant as drowning occurs most commonly in private swimming pools, often during a lapse of adult supervision. Make sure children are properly supervised with a designated water watcher. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Make sure you have a properly fenced pool and property, and a self-latching gate that you keep locked when not in use.
- Empty portable pools between uses.
- Understand and comply with the City’s by-law for Pool enclosures.
Play now, drink later
- If you’re going swimming or boating, keep a clear head and wait until your water play is done before you indulge in that beer or cooler. And never, ever, operate a boat when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Swim in supervised areas
- If you’re swimming at a City beach, make sure you stay in the designated swim area and make sure a lifeguard is on duty.
Swim with a buddy
- Swimming with a buddy and remaining within arm’s reach of young children and non-swimmers are all critical in the prevention of drowning.
Take a class
- Learn to swim, learn what to do when problems arise on the water or learn first aid. We The City of Ottawa offers a variety of courses and programs for all ages to help people stay safe in and around water.