High number of Quebecers slipping below the waves
Published Monday, June 25, 2012 7:45PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 25, 2012 7:46PM EDT
MONTREAL--With 33 Quebecers drowned so far in 2012, compared to only 22 at the same time last year, the Quebec Lifesaving Society is sounding the alarm.
Over the weekend, a little girl died and two boys nearly drowned.
According to the society experienced swimmers often end up drowning. They may be overly confident and so they'll go out in a boat, not wear a life jacket and consume alcohol that impairs their judgment.
Because of the latest incidents that happened over the weekend involving very young children, the focus today is on keeping kids safe around water.
When 7-year-old Cedric slides into a pool his mother is always watching closely.
“I'm an ex-lifeguard, so yes of course I'm very nervous. I'm always looking at my children, looking at where they are and what's happening,” said Andrea Bisson, Cedric’s mother.
Because Bisson brings both of her sons to the pool almost daily, watching them has become a routine. News of the three incidents this weekend weren’t a surprise to her.
“It doesn't surprise me because it's very hot, and people when it's hot, they go more in the pool, so it goes together,” said Bisson.
On Friday, a five-year-old girl drowned in the Lievre River in the Laurentians. On Saturday, a three-year-old boy was pulled unconscious from the family pool in Ste-Martine. On Sunday, a 23-month old boy also nearly drowned in a family pool in Terrebonne. Both boys are still in critical condition.
The director of the society says those kinds of accidents can happen in moments.
“For young kids, between 2 and 6 years old, it can take only 20 or 30 seconds. So you don't have any time. That's why we say those few seconds of inattention can make the difference,” said Raynald Hawkins, director of the society.
Hawkins says a couple of simple steps go a long way in preventing accidents, however constant supervision is key.
“When we're near the water, like beaches, backyard pools, swimming pools, water parks—the arm's reach. If your child is not at arm's reach from you that means he's too far,” said Raynald.
For young or inexperienced swimmers, wearing a lifejacket is also a must; it could make all the difference.