"Drowning season" begins every year on the Victoria Day long weekend in May and ends on the Labour Day long weekend in September. This summer period typically has the highest drowning rates for Ontarians. The Lifesaving Society believes that if every Canadian could meet the Swim to Survive® standard, the number of drownings could be reduced considerably.
In areas such as Durham Region, the collaboration of municipalities, YMCAs and boards of education ensured that every Grade 3 student participated in this lifesaving survival program, which consists of three skills: roll into water, tread water for 1 min., and swim 50 m.
But there are some quieter success stories, too; in Kitchener, a special needs class (that would not otherwise have access to a swimming program) led by a very special teacher, climbed aboard the local transportation and participated at their local community centre. Indeed every child should learn how to survive in the water.
With all of our Swim to Survive success stories, there is still much to be done. What can you do to help? There are many ways survival training can be implemented into day-to-day activities such as:
- replace your current deep-end test with Swim to Survive
- offer free Swim to Survive evaluations during family/recreational swims
- host a Swim to Survive day and challenge all patrons to attempt the standard
- encourage your camp director to implement Swim to Survive as the minimum requirement for all canoeists at your camp
- offer Swim to Survive evaluations with every birthday party booking
- challenge your family to attempt the standard at, or prior to, your next cottage vacation
Or use your imagination and come up with something original. No matter how you do it, you will be helping to save lives! For more ideas and information, visit the Event Profiles and Ideas page.
The Swim to Survive activity guide and participant certificates are available from the Society. Email Lori Groves or call 416-490-8884.