After nearly four months of juggling work and homeschooling, many Quebec families have been looking forward to taking advantage of the warmer weather to relax and swim.
During National Drowning Prevention Week, which started on July 19,th, Allstate Canada and the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch, reminds Quebecers to always be attentive in and around the pool.
According to a new poll conducted on the Angus Reid Forum panel, 52 per cent of Quebec parents who own or are planning on purchasing a pool in the near future plan to work from home this summer at least occasionally, and one-in-10 of those parents say their child or children will swim without supervision. On the other hand, 43 per cent of Quebec parents who own a pool said they would personally supervise their children while working from home.
“By owning a pool you have a responsibility for the safety of not only your loved ones, but your guests too,” says Allstate Canada agency manager Carmine Venditti. “Standard insurance policies in Quebec often do not include coverage for pools or spas, so homeowners who have a pool or spa—or plan on getting one installed—should speak with their insurance agent to ensure they have the appropriate coverage.”
The Lifesaving Society Quebec branch’s 2019 report shows that 87 per cent of child drownings in Quebec were due to distracted supervision or no supervision at all.
“There will be many families this summer struggling to balance working remotely while taking care of young children, and having a pool means setting additional house rules for everyone to follow,” said Raynald Hawkins, executive director of the Lifesaving Society Quebec branch. “There are significant risks involved in having children swim without supervision or with a parent unable to give their full attention due to work-related distractions. Dangers and risks associated with water are always present. Drowning is silent and takes only 15 to 20 seconds to happen, so it is essential to watch young children this summer at all times.”
Allstate Canada and the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch are collaborating for the second consecutive year to raise awareness about accident prevention, offering three residential pool safety tips:
- Assign a responsible supervisor, and know who is in charge at all times. If there is more than one adult in the household who works, allocate time in the schedule to account for watching children during their swim.
- Avoid working when on duty—If someone is the designated supervisor, they should make a point of putting the laptop and cellphone down to ensure their full and undivided attention is given to those in the pool. Stay close to quickly react, if needed.
- Keep water inaccessible when not in use—Do not take any unnecessary risks if no one is available to supervise swimmers. When the pool is in use, be sure to always follow safety guidelines. When not in use, be sure to lock the gate leading to the backyard, or fence off the area to ensure that no one is able to access the pool without supervision.