Summer months bring long days, warm weather, and opportunities to enjoy beaches, lakes, and outdoor pools. To highlight the importance of water safety, the Lifesaving Society designates the third full week in July as National Drowning Prevention Week.

As part of this annual campaign, CKRecreation is hosting special activities and games from July 21-27, 2019 at the Blenheim Gable Rees Rotary Pool, the Wallaceburg Sydenham Pool, and at its seven outdoor pools, time and weather permitting.

According to the Lifesaving Society, approximately 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60+ years of age.

Throughout the week during afternoon Open Swims, children and families can learn water safety tips, boat safety, basic swimming skills to survive unexpected falls into deep water, and how to use a variety of different rescue aids.

Scheduled activities:

Lifejacket Fitting

Learn to fit a lifejacket properly, how to recover from unintentional falls into water, and the HELP/Huddle rescue to stay safe in cold water.

Hit the Target Rescue Drills

Practice throwing rescue aids such as flutter boards and buoy lines to help victims in distress.

Swim to Survive

Learn basic skills that will help survive an unexpected fall into deep water. Participants will roll into deep water, tread water, and swim 50 metres.

For more information and a complete schedule of games and activities, visit www.chatham-kent.ca/recreation.

Drowning Prevention Tips (courtesy of the Lifesaving Society)

Drowning is fast and silent. Always directly supervise children around water and stay within arms' reach. Toddlers need special attention around water, as they're mobile, curious, and require close and constant supervision.

In most drownings, the victim never intended to go in the water. Swim to Survive teaches the necessary skills to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

Always wear a properly fitted lifejacket or personal floatation device, even strong swimmers, when enjoying outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, or canoeing. It keeps you at the surface of the water during unexpected or unintentional entries into water, reduces the initial impact of a fall into cold water, and can help you and others reach safety.

Swim with a buddy, and Be Water Smart all year round. Take a learn to swim program, lifesaving, or first aid class – you can save a life, yours and someone else's.

About National Drowning Prevention Week

National Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) is an annual initiative of the Lifesaving Society aimed at reducing the number of water-related fatalities and drowning incidents by promoting water safety messages in the community.

These water safety events are part of a promotional campaign by CKRecreation to increase water safety awareness and help families prepare for a safe summer. This year's events included National Lifejacket Day, Safe Boating Awareness Week, and the World's Largest Swim Lesson.