5 water safety tips that could save your life

MONTREAL – Drowning can occur in as little as 10 seconds and in just inches of water – but you knew that already, right?

Quebecers are reminded each summer about the dangers of drowning, but the message isn’t always heard.

This year alone, 21 people have drowned, though the swimming season is just getting started.

“Drowning is the leading cause of preventable deaths,” said Raynald Hawkins, Director General of the Quebec Lifesaving Society.

As part of National Drowning Prevention Week, here are five tips to ensure you and your loved ones don’t become another statistic:

Never leave children alone

Stay close – within arms’ reach – in case you’re needed.

Kids should always be supervised.
Kids should always be supervised. Pedro Armenstre / Getty Images

Pay attention

Make sure not to let your cell phones, magazines or even barbecue distract you.

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Don’t let your laptops distract you when you’re with your kids.
Don’t let your laptops distract you when you’re with your kids. EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

Restrict access

Have fencing on all sides of the pool and make sure there’s no way for a child to get in if you’re not there to supervise.

A file photo of a fenced off pool.
Make sure the pool fence is locked when you’re not there to watch your kids. redjar/Flickr

I’m on a boat (with a life jacket)

If you’re going out on a boat, wear a life jackets at all times. This applies to everyone aboard, regardless of age (or species).

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Put a lifejacket on others and then yourself.
Put a life jacket on others and then yourself before you head out. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Don’t drink and drive

Don’t – or at least limit – alcohol consumption during water-related activities.

This may look like fun - but don't drink when you're near the water.
This may look like fun – but don’t drink when you’re near the water. Paul Zimmerman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images