The purpose of Open Water Wisdom

In Canada’s remote northern, rural, Aboriginal, and coastal communities, children and youth are at higher risk for injury and drowning than in other parts of Canada.

Why is this so? It is because our communities sit next to open water and most times of the year this water is cold.

Canada’s lakes, rivers, and oceans are like highways that adults, families, and youth use to travel from place to place, to enjoy the outdoors, and to make a living in all four seasons.

Children and youth engaged in sports, recreation and active living in a community near or on open water are the focus of Open Water Wisdom. We encourage you to take a community based approach that reflects the unique needs and situation of your community. The Campaign is aimed at parents of young children (0-4), at school-aged children (5-12), and at youth (aged 13–19.)  We want them all to be active and safe.

Your role in being part of the Open Water Wisdom campaign is to open the door to awareness about safe practices and behavior in order to help protect children and youth from harm. This may involve changing attitudes within your community.

 The objectives of the Open Water Wisdom Campaign are to:

  • Reduce the injury and drowning rate among children and youth (0-19)
  • Increase public awareness of risks and actions needed to prevent injury and death through drowning.
  • Influence children and youth, families and communities to adopt behavior and practices that increase their safety in, on and around the water while participating in recreation, sport and play activities.
  • Increase lifejacket use by educating children and youth (0-19) on the necessity of wearing lifejackets to increase their safety.
  • Engage communities and build capacity to sustain and facilitate ongoing access to education materials and lifejackets.
  • Provide resources for children and youth, families, communities and professionals to prevent injury and drowning.