Watch for accidental falls into water, Red Cross report warns

Watch above: Why the Red Cross is urging people to watch for accidental falls into water. Jennifer Palisoc reports. 

TORONTO – For those of you spending your Canada Day long weekend at the beach or cottage, the Red Cross has a warning for you: keep an eye on your kids if they’re playing in or around the water.

Nearly 100 Canadians drown every year and most of time, it’s young children who accidentally fall into the water, according to a new Canadian Red Cross report that looked at two decades of data.

“With the long weekend approaching, the Red Cross is urging Canadians to take precautions, when engaging in any activities on or around the water,” Rick Caissie, director general of prevention and safety, said in a statement.

“A drowning can happen very quickly and it is critical that children have lifejackets on whenever they are near the water,” he said.

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READ MORE: What parents need to know about secondary drowning

The report crunched 20 years of data between 1991 and 2010. Turns out, children aged one to four are most at risk, accounting for more than 20 per cent of deaths due to unexpected falls around water. Twenty-eight per cent of the time, it happened at the shoreline, 14 per cent poolside and nine per cent happened by a wharf.

These incidents happen between May 1 and August 31 too, the report cautioned. That’s when most Canadians are near lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

Alcohol was also a factor in at least 39 per cent of deaths in victims over 15 years old.

Read the full report here.

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