Watch Your Child, Not your Phone

National Drowning Prevention Week: Drownings Happen in 30 Seconds

Troubled waters to start National Drowning Prevention Week. A 12-year-old boy was just pulled from the water in Barrie while a Louisiana teen spent 10 hours in the open sea. Granted these incidents were 1,753 km apart and completely different in nature, these examples do show us how quickly trouble can strike while out on the water.

“It only takes 30 seconds for a toddler to drown”

The 12-year-old boy was swimming at Splash On Water Park in Kempenfelt Bay before he was pulled from the water, while the Louisiana teen  was just sitting in the ocean when a rip tide dragged him out to sea. The teen told ABC News there was no lifeguard nearby so he starting screaming in the hope someone would hear him.

Related: 12-year-old boy pulled from Kempenfelt Bay

Water related incidents happen in the blink of an eye. Every year 500 Canadians die in what the National Lifesaving Society call “preventable water-related incidents.” They say a toddler can drown in under 30 seconds. That can happen faster than it takes to send out a text, post or status update.

With National Drowning Prevention Week now underway (July 15-21), more eyeballs are on water safety. The theme Monday is “Watch Me, Not Your Phone” and it highlights the fact drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among Canadian children under 9 years of age.

NDPW say the backyard pool is the most common place drownings happen among children under 5 years-of-age.  The Lifesaving Society say all children should learn to “swim to survive” – which is different than swimming lessons. Swim to Survive means having the ability to roll into deep water, tread water for one minute and swim 50 metres.