4 kids have died from drowning in Saskatchewan over past 6 weeks: Lifesaving Society

4 kids have died from drowning in Saskatchewan over past 6 weeks: Lifesaving Society

Four children six years old and younger have drowned in Saskatchewan over the past six weeks.

The Lifesaving Society said in a press release Wednesday that three six-year-olds drowned in separate incidents in different parts of the province. Most recently, a two-year-old drowned in a backyard swimming pool in Moose Jaw.

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Last week, a six-year-old was successfully resuscitated after being pulled unconscious from a hotel pool in Prince Albert.

“These incidents are so sad and so preventable. It breaks my heart,” said Shelby Rushton, the CEO of the Lifesaving Society’s Saskatchewan branch.

“One of our constant messages is for parents and caregivers to stay within arm’s reach of toddlers and young children.

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“Taking your eyes off a child for a couple of seconds can lead to a tragedy. Once a child falls under the water, they are unable to yell or cry for help.”

The Lifesaving Society has a list of reminders to help prevent future drownings.

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For parents and guardians, it recommends staying within arm’s reach of a child who’s swimming and not letting distractions, such as being on your phone, get in the way of direct supervision.

The Lifesaving Society says it’s important to set up a buddy system with fellow parents or caregivers for supervising kids around water. It says to take turns being the “lifeguard” in 15- to 20-minute intervals.

It is also reminding people to be alert when kids are using inflatable toys, such as swans or mattresses, that can topple over, making it easy for children to drown.

For backyard pools, the Lifesaving Society suggests parents install four-sided locking fencing around the pool to prevent kids from entering the pool without supervision.

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Recently released by the Canadian Red Cross, the Immersions Report highlighted which water activities pose the most risk when it comes to drowning.

“The report found that the most frequent activities for immersion deaths are now aquatic, including swimming and wading,” the report said.

“This is followed by boating, especially fishing. Current is an important environmental factor in water-related deaths in Canada.”

On average, 400 Canadians die from drowning every year, according to Lifesaving Society numbers.

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