National Drowning Prevention Week

The Lifesaving Society designates the third week in July (July 21-27, 2024) as National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW) to focus community and media attention on the drowning problem and drowning prevention.

2024 NDPW EN 291


In 96 per cent of drowning deaths in children under five, supervision was absent or distracted. Now, more than ever, parents need to be Water Smart®.

The Society's Water Smart Parents campaign for National Drowning Prevention Week aims to empower parents and others responsible for children to have fun and make memories while being safe around water.

Read the 2023 release and visit to test your water smarts!

Social Media

Throughout NDPW, the Lifesaving Society, Ontario will be active on social media. We encourage you to interact with our branch on all of our social media platforms as well as the Lifesaving Society nationally.

Facebook: Lifesaving Society Ontario
Twitter: @LifesavingON
Instagram: @lifesavingsocietyon
LinkedIn: Lifesaving Society Ontario
TikTok: @lifesavingsocietyon

If you'd like to create your own posts for the week, feel free to use resources, media, and copy provided in our NDPW assets kit that will be released soon! And be sure to include the #NDPW2024 and #SNPN2024 hashtags. How to use hashtags / Mots-clics pour médias sociaux.

Themes and proclamations

NDPW 2024 Suggested Messages and Themes / 2024 Messages et thèmes suggérés

NDPW provides a focus around which community Water Smart® educators can plan news releases, do television and radio interviews, and deliver public demonstrations and other events. Many successful community events are launched with a Mayor’s Proclamation of Drowning Prevention Week.

The themes below are suggestions for how you can target your NDPW campaign to use specific messages targeted to address trends seen in Lifesaving Society drowning reports and the data from the Drowning Prevention Research Centre. The key messages can be used on social media.

NDPW logos in English and French are here.

Here's the Sample Proclamation Template / Version français.

Here's the Sample Proclamation Request Letter / Version français.

Main Messages to Emphasize

These messages were selected because of the major risk factors presented in the Ontario Drowning Report – 2023 Edition.

  • The Drowning Problem. Over 400 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many.
  • Supervise Children. Always directly supervise children around the water - if you are not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.
  • Boating Safety. Choose it. Use it. Always wear a lifejacket when in a boat.
  • Learn to Swim. In most drownings, the victim never intended to go in the water and was often close to safety – could you survive a sudden and unexpected fall into the water?
  • Stay Sober In, On, and Around Water. Alcohol consumption is a factor in many water related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impair balance, judgment, and reflexes. Stay sober when in, on or around the water.
  • Open Water Safety. Make smart choices before going in, on or around the water.
  • Just Keep Learning. You can save a life, yours, and someone else’s. Take a learn-to-swim, lifesaving or first aid class today.

Learning Activities

The Lifesaving Society has prepared some Water Smart Learning Activities to assist you in delivering the main messages:

Learn to Swim

Basic swimming ability is a fundamental requirement in any meaningful attempt to eliminate drowning in Canada. The Lifesaving Society offers training programs from learn-to-swim through advanced lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.

Our Swim for Life program stresses lots of in-water practice to develop solid swimming strokes and skills. We incorporate valuable Water Smart® education that will last a lifetime.

Swim to Survive is a Lifesaving Society survival training program. Swim to Survive is not a subsititute for swimming lessons; instead, it defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. People of all ages should be able to perform the Society's Swim to Survive standard.