By Jason Cramp
Each year there are tragic stories of children who drowned because an adult turned their attention away—even just for a minute. Any one of a number of distractors can occur in the backyard, whether it is answering the phone, talking to someone, flipping burgers on the barbeque, or simply getting a towel.
Many people are surprised to know drowning is fast, silent, and preventable, and unless someone is supervising bathers with the sole focus on those in the water, they will not see someone who could be in trouble. Often there are many adults around the pool and many think others are watching when instead they may be caught up in conversation with someone else and are not ‘on guard.’ Therefore, to help provide guidance to pool owners and parents on what to do when young children are in the backyard pool area, the Lifesaving Society created the ‘On Guard’ card. The card, which is attached to a lanyard, provides those wearing it with immediate access to important safety messages for keeping young children and non-swimmers safe.
The card also comes with a brochure, which explains how the On Guard card should be used to designate a swimming pool supervisor as well as the importance of passing the card onto another adult should he/she be called away or he/she can no longer dedicate their sole attention to those in the swimming pool.
“Cards can be purchased individually or in bulk,” said Barbara Byers, public education director for the Lifesaving Society Ontario. “It is a great item for backyard pool builders and suppliers to purchase for their clients. Backyard pool owners can also purchase the cards directly from the Lifesaving Society.”
For more information or to order the On Guard card, visit the Lifesaving Society’s website at http://www.lifesavingsociety.com/ and click on the ‘Shop LifeguardDepot’ menu option.