In Canada, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury and deaths among children one to four years of age, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years. With some 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age (surpassed only by motor vehicle collisions and poisoning).
The alarming fact about water accidents is that almost all of these fatalities are preventable. For the past three weeks at the Cache Creek pool, several young swimmers have taken the opportunity to train in the Bronze Star lifesaving program, learning rescue techniques, CPR and first aid, and AED use, and improving their fitness in order to serve others by being ready for an emergency.
This course has strengthened their success in future lifesaving courses, and prepared them for emergencies at waterfronts, pools, and in non-aquatic environments. It may also lead them into other helping professions such as work as lifeguards, paramedics, nurses, or physicians, and may provide these young people with future opportunities for positive and meaningful summer employment in the local area through the profession of lifeguarding.
Starting on Friday, August 26, and continuing Monday through Friday the following week, Cache Creek Pool is offering the Royal Lifesaving Society combination Bronze Medallion/Bronze Cross lifesaving training program, and there is still room for candidates aged 13 or over to register. This program is the prerequisite for the National Lifeguard Service Award, and high school credits are offered for successful completion of the Bronze Cross level. This program is open to older teens and adults as well; please call Cache Creek pool at (250) 457-9135 for more information. The cost for the lifesaving day camp is $125.
Programs at the Cache Creek pool continue through the Labour Day weekend, with drop-in shallow end Aquafit on Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 9 p.m. Noon lap swimming every weekday is open to all ages.
Teen night is every Friday from 8 to 9 p.m. All swimming is free, and Aquafit is free for the first try. Bring a friend and both are free; the regular fee is $3. Free fun Twisted Tuesday events continue every Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.
The lifeguard team at the Cache Creek pool reminds parents and caregivers that a lifejacket or water-wings on a child does not replace close and alert supervision of children in and around the water. The national safety standard for children under seven in public pools is that a caregiver must be within arms’ reach at all times, whether or not the child is wearing a lifejacket.