While most people like to spend summertime on the water, things can turn from a relaxing way to cool down to an emergency. Keep your family safe with these simple tips.
For the Kids
- Children should wear an appropriate flotation device. Water wings and inflatable rings are NOT adequate substitutes for life jackets for PFDs.
- Always keep a child within one arm's length. Teach children how to play safely in and around water. Supervise children's water play.
- Point out hazards to children including hot tubs, water gardens, "No Swimming" or "Thin Ice" signs, slippery pool decks, areas where the water depth is over their head, fast-moving rivers and slippery shorelines.
- Children should not push, jump on or dunk other swimmers. Teach warning signs of distress, such as coughing, seeing a swimmer reaching to the side of the pool or hearing a friend say "stop".
For the Adults
- Be aware of fast-moving water and stay away from slippery banks (streams, rivers, ponds, canals, etc.).
- Obey signs on waterways.
- Wear a life jacket or PFD. In Calgary, Bylaw 9084 states that you must wear a life jacket while on the water in a boat, inner tube, raft or other flotation device. The maximum fine for a violation is $500.
- Water and alcohol do not mix. Alcohol increases the risk of hypothermia (loss of body temperature), increases fatigue, impairs decision-making and slows reaction time.