1 Child Brought to ER Every Day in Quebec for Drownings, Study Finds


“Every summer, the sound of children playing near water brings joy to families across Quebec. However, a recent study has shed light on a darker reality – an average of one child a day ends up in the emergency room for a drowning or near-drowning incident during the summer months in Quebec. The findings are a stark reminder of the importance of water safety, especially when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable members – our children.

The Study: Unveiling a Disturbing Trend

Led by Dr. Hussein Wissanji, a pediatric surgeon at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the study, conducted in collaboration with Quebec’s public health institute and coroner’s office, analyzed data from 2017 to 2021. The results, which are set to be officially published later this year, highlight a concerning trend in childhood drownings and near-drownings in the province.

Children between the ages of one and four are identified as the most at risk, with incidents occurring more frequently on weekends and in pools without proper fencing. This underscores the need for increased vigilance and safety measures, particularly in high-risk environments like swimming pools.

The Call to Action: Preventing Tragedies This Summer

As we approach the summer season, Dr. Wissanji is making a preemptive call to action. By publicizing the study’s results now, he hopes to raise awareness and prevent any unnecessary deaths or injuries this summer. While Quebec law mandates pool owners to have appropriate fencing, there is a grace period until 2025 for owners of older pools to comply. However, the urgency of the situation cannot be overstated – for every fatal drowning, there are more than 10 children who end up in the ER or hospitalized due to water accidents that can happen in a matter of seconds.

The importance of water safety cannot be overstressed, and it is imperative that parents, caregivers, and pool owners take proactive steps to ensure the safety of children around water. By implementing proper safety measures, such as vigilant supervision, swimming lessons, and secure pool enclosures, we can work towards preventing tragic incidents and ensuring that every child can enjoy the summer season safely.

In conclusion, let’s take the findings of this study as a wake-up call to prioritize water safety and take necessary precautions to protect our children. By working together and staying vigilant, we can make this summer a season of joy and laughter, free from the shadow of preventable water-related incidents.”



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