Pool drowning risk soars with summer heat

Pool drowning risk soars with summer heat

By Robert Frank

Laval Police reminded residents last week to help reduce the risk of accidental drowning by making sure that their backyard pools conform to the latest safety norms.

“Lots of residents have pools but they’re not always aware of the rules and bylaws regarding pool safety,” said Sgt. Frédéric Jean. “It’s imperative that access to the pool be fenced in. It’s important for everyone, and especially for children. It doesn’t take a lot of time for a child to go into the water and drown.”

Police officers all too often see the grisly results of ignoring the law.

“In 2010 one person drowned and another two were revived. There was one drowning each year in 2011 and 2012, but none in 2013 nor so far this year,” reported Sgt. Jean. 

“Not all the victims are children,” he noted. “The person who drowned in 2011 was a senior citizen. People also forget the risk to pets.”

“The risks remain in the wintertime,” Sgt. Jean added, citing a personal mishap due to poor pool safety. “A few winters ago, I responded to a suspected burglary. There was no fence around the pool, which I couldn’t see because the ice over it was covered by three feet of snow.” 

“I fell through the ice and had quite a frigid experience,” he recalled.

July 20-26 will be drowning safety week in Quebec.

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