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B.C. must do more to highlight drowning dangers for young people: coroner

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June 26, 2014 - 2:24 PM

VICTORIA - The coroners' service says the dangers of drowning haven't sunk in with many British Columbians, especially teenage males who believe they can swim out of danger even if they've been drinking alcohol.

A report released today by a B.C. Child Death Review Panel examines the drowning deaths of 35 young people and says that important water safety messages are not getting through to youths.

Review unit director Michael Egilson says messages about boater safety, life-jacket use, pool safety and alcohol use aren't resonating with young people.

The report states that teenage males are particularly prone to drowning risks because they underestimate dangers involved in water-related activities and often overestimate their own swimming abilities.

The panel report recommends the B.C.-Yukon branch of the Lifesaving Society start public campaigns that target teenage males about safe water practices, including getting teens to take part in the campaign.

The panel report also recommends the Canadian Red Cross intensify its focus on educating parents about water dangers, stressing the need for constant supervision of young children in or around water.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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