Healthy Living in the North

Water play: the safe way

Beach towel; sand;

Show us how you play safe in and around the water this summer and be entered to win a beach towel from Northern Health and Email your photo of playing in and around the water safely to
(Photo from

There is nothing like a warm summer day near the water: sun shining, jewel-like reflections and a gentle breeze. These are the makings of great summer memories. That’s just the point: memories. You need to remember your fun in the sun and an injury may stop that from happening. In honour of drowning prevention week, we wanted to remind you about the safe fun you can have around the water!

Before you think that only other swimmers or boaters drown, have a word with yourself. (

Did you know?

  • Drownings are most likely to occur from May to August, when the warm weather draws us to the water.
  • Nearly 90% of boaters who drown are not wearing, or are not properly wearing, their lifejacket.
  • Two-thirds of drownings in Canada occur in natural bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Dipping into that pool or lake, or getting out on the boat, canoe or kayak are what make for great summer memories. But, also consider the following:

  • There were 74 drownings in B.C. last year.
  • Drowning is a leading cause of death for children.
  • Near-drownings can result in lengthy hospital stays and can have life-long effects, such as brain damage.
  • 90% of boating drownings can be prevented by wearing a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD).
  • 20% of Canadians believe that a child under age six is safe near the water without a lifejacket as long as they aren’t swimming, but almost 80% of children who drowned entered the water unintentionally.

But, there are things you can do! Here are some tips for a safer summer:

  • Boat and swim sober.
  • Everyone wears a lifejacket or PFD.
  • All children under age six wear lifejackets when in, on, or around water.

What do you do to keep play time fun and safe so that you get to build great summer memories?

Denise Foucher

About Denise Foucher

Denise is an injury prevention coordinator with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about working towards health and wellness for everyone in Northern B.C. When not at work, Denise can be found out at the lake, walking her dog, planning her next travel adventure, or snuggled in a cozy chair with a good book.


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