Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Archived - Safe Kids Week

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June 7 - 14, 2014

With summer just around the corner, Safe Kids Week is the perfect opportunity to remind all Canadians to play safe. This year's theme, "Safe Swimming. Safe Splashing. Safe Kids," focuses on water-related activities and emphasizes the importance of water safety and drowning prevention.

Water sports, boating and swimming are popular summer activities that offer family and friends a great way to get outside, stay active and have fun. However, with these activities comes the potential for injury.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death among children and youth ages 1 to 14.

We all want our children to be happy and healthy, but we also want them to be safe.

As part of the Active and Safe Injury Prevention Initiative, the Government of Canada supported the Open Water Wisdom Campaign.  The initiative, led by the Lifesaving Society and the Canadian Red Cross, delivered drowning prevention education programming and distributed lifejackets in an effort to reduce incidents of drowning and near drowning among children and youth.

Our government is investing in surveillance and research to better understand injury patterns, risks, and effective measures for preventing injury.  We are also collaborating with stakeholders on how to keep our children safe while being active.

But we all have a role to play. What can you do?

Enrolling children and youth in swimming lessons is a fun and essential activity to teach them water safety skills in, on and around water and to enhance their physical abilities in the water. Even if your child is a strong swimmer, active adult supervision of children in and around water is essential, as is wearing life jackets and ensuring backyard swimming pools are secured with four-sided fencing that can be locked.

These are just some ways to help keep you and your family members safe in and around the water this summer.

I encourage you to visit Healthy Canadians for more water safety tips and to learn more about Safe Kids Week, visit Parachute Canada.

I wish everyone a healthy and safe summer!

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health Canada

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