Tillsonburg lifeguard Laurie Monk is running 200 km in 10 days through Oxford, Norfolk and Brant counties to raise awareness about water safety.
She stopped by the Paris Community Pool and Splashpad on the weekend as part of a drive to collect $5,000 for drowning prevention programs through the Lifesaving Society.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of preventable death among children under 10. Most drownings occur within 15 metres of land and are often the result of momentary inattention by a parent or guardian.
The pool is a safe place to swim, as long as parents and guardians stay within arm’s reach of their children at all times, said Paris lifeguard Stephanie DeLaronde. Open water is riskier, she said.
“A lot of people think they are strong swimmers, but once they go into open water a lot of things can happen and there are a lot of dangers you can’t see until it’s too late,” DeLaronde said.
Prompted by a rise in drownings this summer, the Lifesaving Society is reminding swimmers to always swim with a buddy and wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device near open water. Visit www.lifesavingsociety.com for more safe swimming tips.