Warm summer weather makes people across Manitoba think about staying cool. Year after year, they flock to swimming pools or natural bodies of water across the province to get wet and beat the heat. Unfortunately, that also means that every year we see a spike in drowning deaths.
To raise awareness about drowning prevention, the Lifesaving Society designates July 16-22, 2017 as National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW).
Water Smart Tips
Approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many.
In Manitoba, approximately 26 people die a year from drowning.
If you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far. Always supervise children.
Never leave children alone near water and always keep them in your sight. If children are at the water’s, edge a responsible guardian needs to be with them. If you turn your back to answer the phone or respond to a text message your child could be gone forever. Whether at the beach or in a pool or hot tub children can get into trouble very quickly and can slip under the water very quietly without shouting and waving. In Manitoba, 80% of children under 15-years-old who died due to drowning were alone near water, and in 87% of such cases adult supervision was found to be absent or distracted.
Boat sober. Alcohol consumption is a factor in 75% of boating-related fatalities.
In Manitoba, alcohol consumption is a factor in 75% of boating-related fatalities, higher than in other provinces. The consequences in Manitoba for impaired boating and impaired driving are identical. Leave the booze at home; it can lead to disastrous consequences on the water.
Choose it. Use it. Wear a lifejacket!
Not wearing a lifejacket or PFD was a factor in 100% of boating deaths in Manitoba. Lifejackets must fit properly and be in good working conditions. Buckles and zippers should be functioning and intact. Everyone should wear lifejackets while boating and anyone who cannot swim – especially young children – should wear a lifejacket while swimming. Lifejackets don’t work if you don’t wear them. Learn More about Lifejackets.
Manitoba Drowning Report – 2016 Edition
The Manitoba Drowning Report – 2016 Edition, published by the Drowning Prevention Research Centre for the Lifesaving Society Canada, highlights drowning trends in Manitoba. The latest report indicates there were 20 drownings in Manitoba in 2013. For drownings since 2013, only preliminary, interim data from media and internet reports are available. In Manitoba, these numbers indicate that at least 15 drownings occurred in 2014 and at least 9 in 2015. The 2017 Edition will be published in early July.
- Water-related fatality rates in Manitoba were highest among men, and people 20-24 years old. Manitoba had a higher drowning rate for children under the age of 5 than any other province in Canada.
- Drowning fatalities were most likely to occur during the summer, on weekends, and in natural bodies of water such as rivers and lakes.
- The highest proportion of incidents occurred during a recreational activity, most commonly swimming or recreating near the water.
- Despite the dip in Manitoba drownings in 2012 and 2013, the increased death rate demonstrated by the five-year average reinforces the need for continued strong drowning prevention efforts.
Download these resources to host a National Drowning Prevention Week event at your pool or community facility! For more information or for assistance with planning events, please contact the Water Smart® Coordinator.
Affiliate Members are welcome to use the National Drowning Prevention Week logo on their materials and resources. Please read the Visual Identity Guidelines to ensure the logo is used properly.
Messages and Themes
The Lifesaving Society – Manitoba Branch, along with Lifesaving Society Canada’s Public Education Commission, has put together Social Media Messages and Drowning Prevention Themes to emphasize during the 2017 National Drowning Prevention Week. Affiliate Members and supporters are encouraged to use these messages on social media between July 16 and 22. The Manitoba Branch will also be sharing these messages on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NDPW2017 and #SNPN2017.
The proclamation letter and template can be shared with your local communities.
- Water Smart® Public Education Guide – Perfect for organizing NDPW events