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Are Quebecers too distracted to keep safe close to water?

Over half of Quebecers will vacation close to a body of water this summer, according to an Allstate Canada poll conducted in recognition of National Drowning Prevention Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal (Quebec), July 18, 2019 - Summer is here and Quebecers are rejoicing at the warmer weather and days spent by the water. In the lead up to National Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from July 21st to 27th, 2019, the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch, in partnership with Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, would like to remind everyone to stay safe around water this summer. According to a new Léger poll conducted on behalf of Allstate Canada, over half of Quebecers (55%) say they will vacation close to a body of water, with 20% close to a lake, 14% a pool and 8% a river.

“With the excitement that comes with having a fun day out in the sun, it can be easy to forget the importance of water safety,” says Sara Wilhelmy, Agency Manager at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Water safety is about more than rules; it’s about understanding the unpredictability of water and how to protect yourself and your family to ensure an enjoyable vacation or backyard experience.”

The Allstate Canada poll results also found that when it comes to the responsibility of supervising children under 12 years old:

  • Only about a third (32%) of Quebecers surveyed say they always keep an eye on them
  • A quarter (24%) say they take turns among adults
  • 21% say they carefully do so but it’s possible they also occasionally carry out another activity simultaneously or multitask

‘‘Time and again, the coroner’s investigation reports find that drowning is almost always preventable. In that regard, planning ahead and constant supervision are essential to keeping everyone safe,’’ says Raynald Hawkins, Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch. “We urge everyone enjoying the water this summer to keep a watchful eye on one another. Swimming, boating, waterskiing, and any other water-based activities are supposed to be fun. Taking the necessary precautions is the difference between a lifetime of happy memories and a traumatic experience.”

Drownings by Numbers

The Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch’s 2018 report indicates that 70% of drownings occurred in natural environments. More specifically, 41% of accidents occurred by rivers, 28% by lakes or ponds, and 13% by pools. But, the biggest takeaway is that this number goes down to 1%, regardless of where you are, in supervised environments.

These numbers are why conversations that promote more education and public awareness about water safety should be a top priority for Quebecers, particularly if they are spending any time during the summer months close to water.

Water Safety Tips

Allstate Canada and the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch are working to raise awareness about pool and water safety. Together they offer the following water safety and accident prevention tips:

  • Clearly assign a responsible supervisor – Know who is in charge at all times. Consider taking turns to keep a watchful eye if by the water for a longer period. You could identify the current on duty supervisor by having them wear a special hat, for example.
  • Avoid distractions when on duty – If you are the designated supervisor, make a point of putting your cell phone down, save reading your favourite book or magazine for later, and reassign cooking and food duties to others to ensure you can concentrate on the task at hand. Stay close to quickly react if needed.
  • Keep water inaccessible when not in use – Follow safety guidelines and fence in pools. Limit and control access to other bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and even wading pools.
  • Wear a floating device – Everyone should wear a personal flotation device while boating. Inexperienced swimmers should also wear them in pools or other bodies of water.
  • Swim with a buddy – There is safety in numbers. Make sure swimmers of all ages and skill level always have a buddy with them, whether in a pool or a body of water.
  • Learn to swim – There’s power in knowledge. By enrolling your children in swimming lessons early on, they will gain confidence and have a better understanding of the dangers and risks associated with water. And remember, it’s never too late to learn; there are swim classes for all ages.

The Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch offers more water safety advice at www.societedesauvetage.org and pool safety guidelines at www.perfectswimming.com. Also, visit the GOOD HANDS® blog at goodhandsadvice.ca for more tips on how to enjoy water safely.

About the Léger Poll

The poll was conducted by Léger from May 24 to 28, 2019 among a representative sample of 1,002 Quebecers, 18 years of age or older. Using data from Statistics Canada, results were weighted based on gender, age, regions, language(s) spoken at home, education and presence of minor child(ren) in the household to ensure a representative sample of the entire population under review. For comparison purposes, a probability sample size would have a margin of error of ±3.08%, 19 times out of 20.

About the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch

The Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote safe interactions with water to prevent drownings and other injuries. The Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch’s partners are the Gouvernement du Québec, Éduc’alcool, Aquam and Placements Sports. For more information, visit www.societedesauvetage.org.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is a leading home and automobile insurer focused on providing our valued customers prevention and protection products and services for every stage of life. Serving Canadians since 1953, Allstate Canada strives to keep our customers and employees in "Good Hands®". We are proud to have been named a Best Employer for seven consecutive years. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as the Old Brewery Mission, MADD Canada, and the United Way. To learn more, visit www.allstate.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Anna Weigt-Bienzle
Senior PR Specialist.
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
T: 905-475-4527  
E: aweigtbienzle@allstate.ca

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