Now that summer is upon us, children everywhere are looking forward to having fun and cooling down as they take a swim. However, it’s important to ensure they have fun safely. In Canada, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children. That’s why the Ministry of Health and Long-
Term Care has updated its admission standards for class A public pools.
A class A public pool is defined as a pool in a public setting that is serviced by a lifeguard, such as a municipal pool in a park or recreation centre.
Under the new admission standards, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health requires all children less than 10 years of age who are swimming in a public pool be accompanied by a guardian who is at least 12 years old. The guardian is responsible for the direct supervision of children under their care.
The new admission standards for public pools are broken down into two categories:
For children under 6 years old:
- If the children are not wearing life jackets, there must be 1 supervising guardian for every 2
- If the children are wearing life jackets, there must be 1 supervising guardian for every 4 children.
For children between the ages of 6 and 9 years old:
- If the children are not wearing life jackets, there must be 1 supervising guardian for every 4 children.
- If the children are wearing life jackets, there must be 1 supervising guardian for every 8 children.
Here are some measures you can take to keep children safe in and around bodies of water:
- Stay within sight and arm’s reach of any child under 5 years old or who does not swim well. At this age, children are attracted to water, but don’t understand the danger. Young children can drown in as little as one inch (2.5 cm) of water.
- Make sure young children and weak swimmers wear life jackets.
- Enroll your children in swimming lessons as soon as possible. But remember that teaching your child to swim does not mean that your child is safe in the water. So even if your child has taken swimming lessons, you should still never leave him/her alone in the pool or at the beach.
For more information, call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120. Follow Eastern Ontario Health Unit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.