Water safety for children


For Immediate Release

June 27, 2012


LHSC Trauma Program encourages parents to use caution when children are around water this summer


LONDON, OntarioTomorrow marks the start of summer holidays for thousands of children in the region, and as families prepare to hit the beach, relax at the cottage, or dig out the pool toys, the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) would like to remind parents of the importance of water safety.


A recent report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information indicates drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional death among young children in Ontario, after motor vehicle crashes.  Children under five are at greatest risk of drowning, and toddlers faced almost half of near-drowning injuries, according to the report. “Drowning hazards are not limited to the outdoors. Children can drown in less than 1 inch of water, so it is important to protect your child within the home as well,” says Jane Harrington, Injury Prevention Specialist at LHSC.


With summer only a few days old, there have already been reports of young children drowning in ponds and pools while briefly unattended. Tragedies like these need not occur if caregivers follow a few simple precautions.


The Middlesex-London Health Unit outlines 4 easy ways to protect children this summer:


  • Keep your family safe by supervising children in and around the water
  • Keep them within sight and arms’ reach
  • Make sure young children and weak swimmers wear personal flotation devices at all times
  • Take swimming lessons and learn first aid


Source: Middlesex-London Health Unit

As the designated Lead Trauma Hospital (LTH) for the Southwestern Ontario region, LHSC plays a leadership role in the specialized care of injured adults and children, including those suffering from water related incidents. The program coordinates services to meet regional needs and participates in local, provincial and national programs related to education, research and injury prevention.


“Drowning can happen swiftly and quietly, so the best defense to prevent drowning is constant supervision,” says Harrington.


For further information on LHSC’s Trauma Program: http://www.lhsc.on.ca/About_Us/Trauma/


For further information on the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s water safety campaign: http://www.healthunit.com/default.aspx


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 137 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca 



- 30 -


For media inquiries contact:                                                               

Kathy Leblanc

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

London Health Sciences Centre

519-685-8500, ext. 74772



After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call


Like us on Facebook at LHSC Canada, follow us on Twitter @LHSCCanada and watch us on YouTube at LHSCCanada