Do you and your family practice safe water fun?

You may think of drowning as a slow process. TV and movies always seem to show a victim thrashing around in the water in slow motion, calling for help, with rescue arriving in the nick of time to save the person.

Northern Health is working to shatter this myth around drowning deaths as Northern BC residents enjoy the hot weather in lakes, rivers and pools around the region.

?The fact is that drowning is quick and silent – it can happen in as little as 10 seconds,? says Denise Foucher, Injury Prevention Coordinator. ?If you have your head and/or arms below water, and are struggling for air, you won?t be able to yell out or wave for help.

?A little child who can?t swim well could slip into the water and not even make a sound. There may not be any time to respond at all.?

Drowning is a leading cause of death, especially for those aged one to 24 years old. In Canada, 32 per cent of drowning deaths happen in this age group.

Taking a few simple precautions can cut the risk, and save lives. When you are around water, keep these important points in mind: * Make sure you can see your child in and around water * Keep your child within arm?s reach, including in the bathtub * Young children and weak swimmers should always wear lifejackets * Never leave a baby or child alone in a bathtub, not even for a moment * Never leave a child in the care of an older child while swimming or bathing

* Never use a baby bath seat as a substitute for adult supervision * Put your children in swimming lessons * Make sure everyone wears a lifejacket when boating * Stay sober, and avoid alcohol when boating, swimming or diving * Learn First Aid and CPR

Use these simple tips to keep playing on and enjoying safe fun around the water.