Water and the Fearless Toddler – Summer Survival

Unfortunately, there is a rise in number of drownings in Quebec. Keep on reading below for some of my water safety tips to implement with your family this summer.

Think you can leave a child in this small pool? You are wrong.

It takes a second.

It takes a second for a lot of things. To lose grip of your child’s hand as they trip on a rock, to lose sight of your child in a park, to lose track of time when you say you will only be…a second.

Parents, I urge you, keep a watchful eye on your children this summer and always. Especially near water.

Drowning Incidences in Quebec

It would be unfit of me as a mama blogger to not address a major issue going on right now where I live. If you are not familiar with the news in Quebec, (with a heavy heart) let me fill you in:

In the last few weeks, there have been three incidences of child drowning in Quebec bringing the total this summer to staggering 44 deaths in Quebec alone, 8 of which are children.

And with Quebec holding the largest number per capita of backyard pools in all of Canada with 300,000 according to the Royal Lifesaving Society, it can lead to many tragic possibilities.

CBC News created this stat image that I felt compelled to share (it may be older but still relevant):

For the full CBC News article, click here.

Growing Up With a Pool

I have many tears and very little words for these terrible and tragic happenings. There have been discussions of eliminating the allowance of private pools, as well as initiating mandatory water safety in schools to prevent such losses. Here is what I would like to share:

I grew up with a pool. The pool was dug in place when I was less than one year old. As soon as the pool was finished, a rod iron gate went around the pool with a lock that was actually locked at all times without an adult present. Of course there were times when children got hurt playing or jumping in, but no one, NO ONE, was allowed to swim without adult supervision.

That rule stayed rock solid for every event, every moment of friends coming over, every time as long as I can remember. And I do not recall ever swimming, not even in my adult years, without another friend nearby.

My parents were often viewed as overprotective, but for this as well as many other occasions, I could not be more grateful for their decisions in parenting.

An inground pool on a sunny day

Purchasing a Home with a Pool

When it was time for my husband and I to look for a home for our family, we didn’t want a pool. For one, it is a big upkeep, and with three small children, we don’t have lots of spare time. But for the other, the one that was on my mind the most, it is a constant and diligent watch when children are near water. And to be honest, I was scared of it.

And wouldn’t you know, the house we found that was in the perfect location, with the perfect price, and the perfect size…had a pool. After much discussion we decided on the house and our first investment, before we moved in, was to get a rod iron gate around the pool, since there was none. There were no second thoughts, it was done immediately. And although our children cannot all reach the latch to open the gate door, we have a lock on it at all times.

A fenced-in gate is only safe if you lock it.

Take Control of Your Surroundings

If you intend on having a pool in your backyard, be prepared for all that it entails. If you do not want that responsibility, do not get a pool.

If you do have a pool party, make it a requirement that all children wear a flotation device if they are young. It’s a good idea to always have extra floaters on hand for such an occasion. And this, of course does not limit the need for parents to be present while children are in the water.

If you are a parent, or if you are ever requested to take care of a child, learn CPR. There are many centers that offer workshops throughout the year. When I couldn’t find one that fit my schedule, I organized for a CPR instructor to come to my home and had friends and family attend.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as other friends with kids are great people to invite for a CPR workshop.

Another good event to have in your community is a water safety workshop. For a list of ideas in creating such an event, click here.

According to the Lifesaving Society of Ontario, “If you’ve gone further than arms reach, you’ve gone too far” from a child in a pool or any body of water. I state the obvious here, but all bodies of water can be deadly, whether it is an above or in-ground pool, an inflatable toddler pool, a pond or a bathtub.

One family that lost their daughter from a pool drowning said that the back patio door lock was broken, and they hadn’t gotten around to fixing it. I can’t think of a better time to tell you all about a the BurglaBar I got to review for PTPA a little while ago.

Burglabar by Addalock

The product was made to secure your house from burglars but for parents it has become so much more. It’s a nearly invisible, extremely durable, sliding door lock that can be placed high on your door so little hands cannot reach it. It is ingenious, and works the way it’s supposed to. Created by Addalock, this is an added security for your children once they reach the age of being able to reach the sliding door handles. As I mentioned in my PTPA review for the product, once your child can reach the door handles, they will open them every chance they get. And at $4.95 per lock, this added security is truly affordable for everyone.
It was chosen as a PTPA winner and I think it is a product all parents to know and get for their sliding doors.

For further information on water safety visit:

For More on Family Safety:

I wish you all a safe and happy summer by a pool.
Here are some of my best water safety tips so that you can implement some pool rules for you and your family.


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1 comment

Tanya@montrealmom.com July 19, 2012 at 4:09 am

Julia- Thank you so much for posting this. This has been on my mind as well. I did not know about the patio lock, either-Thank you!


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