City reminds residents to play safe around the water this summer

With municipal beaches, wading pools, splash pads and outdoor pools soon to open, the City of Ottawa is reminding residents to practice safety around the water during the summer months.

The City of Ottawa, in partnership with the Ottawa Drowning Prevention Coalition, today launched their water safety awareness campaign at the residence of a private backyard pool owner. 

“Now that the warm weather is here, residents are opening their backyard pools, the cottage, and will be soon enjoying the City’s outdoor pools and wading pools, launching their boats and taking part in many other types of water sports,” said Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor. “It is important to remember that drowning deaths can be prevented by practising safety and behaving responsibly when around water.”

Coroner McNaughton-Filion reminded residents to be on guard around water.  “There should always be a supervising adult when in and around the water.  Drowning is one of the leading causes of injury-related incidents for Canadian children under the age of five as they are mobile, curious and the least capable to self-rescue of any age group.”

“Ottawa has an average of five drowning deaths per year, including victims of all ages in pools, rivers and lakes, in all four seasons,” said Christine Wagg, Area Chair for the Lifesaving Society. Swimming is a lifelong skill.  Register now for swimming lessons for the whole family.”

Residents who intend to be around backyard pools and other water venues this summer are encouraged to follow these tips:

  • Always keep children within arm’s reach, both in and around the water. Never leave a child alone, whether it is in the bathtub, a swimming pool or any body of water, such as rivers or lakes.
  • Make sure children and weaker swimmers wear lifejackets or personal flotation devices (PFD) in and around the water.
  • Adults should be free of alcohol, drugs and distractions when supervising or swimming with children. Put your phone or mobile device down while supervising children.
  • Keep safety equipment and access to a phone close to the pool. 
  • Children under the age of five should never use a hot tub – not even with an adult. Hot tubs are too hot for young children, may have high bacteria, and the drain in the hot tub can trap children.
  • Make sure you and your family members learn to swim.
  • Enjoy safe boating. Make sure that you and your family members always wear a properly sized lifejacket/PFD when in a boat. When not in use, lifejackets/PFDs need to be kept in a dry, ventilated area and out of direct sunlight.
  • Know what to do in an emergency, including CPR and calling 9-1-1.

Many Ottawa residents will spend this weekend preparing for the summer, and it is not too late to make it a safe summer by:

For more information about water safety, swimming lessons, City beaches, splash pads, outdoor pools, and lifesaving and leadership courses, visit

The Drowning Prevention Coalition is made up of representatives from the Boys and Girls Club, Dovercourt Recreation Centre, Ottawa Hospital, Red Cross, CHEO, Lifesaving Society, Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Paramedic Service and Ottawa Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

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