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Water safety this season in Sarnia-Lambton

“Teaching young children basic survival swimming skills can have a life-long immunization effect against drowning.”
Canatara Park beach.

With the warmer weather here and summer fast approaching, Sarnia-Lambton residents are reminded to stay safe when swimming or near open water this season.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Report on Drowning, drowning is a threat that claims the lives of 372,000 people a year worldwide. 

Statistics compiled by the United Nations, shows drowning as a leading cause of death globally for children and young people aged 1-24 years, and lists drowning as the third-leading cause of unintentional injury/death.

As a community uniquely surrounded by open water with our Great Lakes and beaches, understanding basic water safety and survival skills is essential. 

“Teaching young children basic survival swimming skills can have a life-long immunization effect against drowning,” says Dr. Stephen Beerman, a Canadian doctor and researcher who contributed to the WHO report. 

During the summer, Lambton Public Health monitors beach water quality at multiple locations in Lambton County, including Canatara Beach. 

Beaches are posted with warning signs when levels of E. coli bacteria are estimated to exceed the Ministry of Health guidelines.  

Residents are encouraged to check the quality of the water before swimming and avoid entering when bacteria levels are high. 

According to Lambton Public Health, high levels of bacteria in the water can cause skin, ear, eye, nose, and throat infections as well as stomach disorders. When the bacterial levels in the water return to an acceptable level for swimming, the signs are removed.

Monitoring of beaches in Lambton County will begin on June 17.

Check the water quality status before you head out to the beach;

Text keyword: BEACH to 226-909-3003
View the map of beach locations and inspection results
Call the Beach Info Line: 519-383-3816, toll-free 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3816
View signs at the inspected beach location entry points

Water Safety Tips

  • Make sure your backyard pool is protected from entry on all four sides.
  • Watch children while they are in or around water (Avoid distractions; Pay attention; Stay within arm's-length)
  • Be aware of the Lake Huron and St. Clair River currents and boating traffic and always swim within the designated lifeguard sections at Canatara Beach. 
  • All boaters - powerboat, canoe or kayak - need to wear a lifejacket or PFD (Unexpected falls, especially into cold water, increase risk for drowning)
  • Check out The Lifesaving Society: ‘Water Smart’ resources, for tips on how to supervise the safety of children near water. Read it here.

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