Kids under 4 in Manitoba are drowning at a rate more than 3 times the national average

Kids under 4 in Manitoba are drowning at a rate more than 3 times the national average

National Drowning Prevention Week kicked off in Manitoba with the announcement of a troubling statistic Tuesday.

Children under four in Manitoba are drowning at a rate more than three times the national average, the Lifesaving Society’s provincial branch said at a news conference at Birds Hill Beach.

“It’s alarming and unfortunately, it’s a trend that we have been seeing lately in Manitoba,” said Kevin Tordiffe.

The number has been high for the last few years, he said. 

The information is based on coroner’s reports from across the country. 

It’s already been a deadly year in Manitoba waters this year with several people drowning, including newcomers. The drownings have prompted calls for newcomer swimming lessons.

Manitobans were warned to be careful around water this summer and told to wear life-jackets to prevent tragedy.

Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires said the province is starting a life-jacket loaner program at Spruce Woods Provincial Park. The program, which lends life-jackets free of charge, is already available at Bakers Narrows, Gyles Lake and Birds Hill Provincial Park.

“A tragedy on the water can occur in the blink of an eye, which means never leaving children alone near water and always keeping them in sight,” Squires said.

Published at Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:55:03 -0400