Welcome to Network’s July Newsletter. You will notice that our summer newsletters are lighter to allow for a quick read during the busy months of July & August. We hope you enjoy this edition. Happy Summer!

Summer Lights

Since July 1, 1867, what was previously known throughout Canada as Dominion Day, officially became known as Canada Day in 1982, when The Canada Act was enacted into law along with The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada Day is a national holiday which celebrates all things Canadian. Parades, picnics, and fireworks typically mark this celebratory day. This year, Canada will be 156 on July 1st!

Another national event is Canada Parks Day which has been celebrated on July 15th since 1990. Summer is the perfect time to venture outside and enjoy one of many parks which are located throughout our neighbourhoods. Guided walking tours and family friendly events will be occurring on this delightful day. There are approximately 1,500 local community parks throughout the City of Toronto!

World Drowning Prevention Day will be observed on July 25th. Drowning is a preventable tragedy which is often avoided by simply learning how to swim. Many adults and children wade into water without gaining the proper expertise and knowledge with dire consequences. The City of Toronto offers lessons in swimming, and it often takes as little as 24 hours to become a skilled swimmer regardless of your age!

Summer Water Safety

The summer months are an ideal time to enjoy water play with children. The air temperature is warm to hot as the sun shines for more than ten hours on average. These fair-weather days lend themselves to the desire to enjoy water activities with children near a pool, lake or even near the ocean. The challenge of course is safety!

Drowning prevention has been recognized globally with its own unique day, in hopes that greater attention will be paid to stop this unnecessary and tragic accident from occurring year after year. Statistics show that 87% of drownings for children under the age of 5 have occurred in family pools and in less than 60 seconds, leaving families shocked and heartbroken.

Drowning prevention is the key! A child as young as one could begin to be taught to swim. This is a vital skill which could contribute to a child’s overall success, as learning to swim is a life-long ability. While learning to swim, families could consider the use of life jackets for their children to prevent drowning. Life jackets keep the wearer above water level and adds to their confidence as they are learning to swim. The colour of a child’s swimsuit also makes a difference! Surprisingly, recent studies have shown that neon colours like pink, orange, green and yellow swimsuits are the best, and can help rescuers find the swimmer quickly in the water be it a pool, lake, or ocean. Swimsuits which are either white or light blue seemingly disappear once they are below the water surface, making it close to impossible for rescuers to locate the drowning victim.

With many water parks, pools and swimming locations opening up for the summer months, it is more important than ever to put distractions away and supervise children in the water at all times.