Drowning is the second most common cause of injury related death in many First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada.
First Nations people and Inuit are at a greater risk of drowning than other Canadians. A contributing factor to this is that many First Nation and Inuit communities are located close to rivers and lakes.
Aboriginal people represent three to five percent of the Canadian population, yet they are involved in:
Many injuries or deaths involving boating are the result of drinking and driving or from not wearing a personal floatation device or life jacket.
Boats are required by law to have enough life jackets/PFDs on board for everyone and they should be properly sized for the passengers on board.
In order to decrease the risk of drowning, everyone in the boat needs to be wearing the life jacket/PFD. Life jackets and PFDs need to be approved by Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada or a combination of these organizations.
Some of the hyperlinks provided are to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act. The material found there is therefore in the language(s) used by the sites in question.
For information on boating safety, see:
Falling through ice on frozen bodies of water can cause severe injury or death from drowning or hypothermia. When hunting, fishing, snowmobiling or walking on frozen lakes or rivers, use extreme caution to prevent falling into the very cold water.
Here are steps you can take to prevent drowning:
Information for the general public:
Information for community leaders, see Ice and Cold Water Immersion.
Infants and small children can drown in less than two inches of water. An infant should never be left alone while bathing.
Bath rings and bath seats used for bathing infants are not safety devices. There have been several deaths and near death incidences associated with the use of bath seats and bath rings.
Constant supervision by a responsible parent or care giver is always needed. Infants and small children should be within arm's reach at all times while in the bath. An infant should never be left under the supervision of an older sibling. If you must leave the room for any reason, such as to answer the phone, take the infant with you. It only takes a split second for a child to drown.
For more information on bathing safety, see:
First Nations and Inuit children are at an increased risk of falling into open bodies of water, living close to rivers and lakes is a contributing factor to this risk. It is important to always supervise children and be within arm's reach when children are playing in or around water.
It is also important that children wear personal floatation devices (PFDs) or life jackets when participating in water activities. Be a role model for children by wearing a PFD or life jacket too!
There are several steps you can take to avoid drowning when swimming:
For more information on swimming safety, see:
For the general public: