Growing Body of Research Explains Why Teens May Be at Increased Risk of Drowning

Growing Body of Research Explains Why Teens May Be at Increased Risk of 
Drowning 
Based on New Poll Findings Lifesaving Society Cautions Parents and Offers 
Training with Swim to Survive+™ 
TORONTO, June 24, 2013 /CNW/ - It's not uncommon for parents to be perplexed 
at times about their teen's behaviour, and a growing body of research on the 
teen brain is helping experts understand that the physiology of the teen brain 
actually leads them to participate in thrill-seeking activities and risky 
behaviour. 
The Lifesaving Society is paying special attention to this area of study as it 
expands the Swim to Survive+™ program. This research reinforces the need to 
ensure that teens have swimming survival skills and knowledge to keep 
themselves and their friends safe when their brain physiology puts them at 
risk around water. The expansion of the Swim to Survive+™ program is made 
possible with funding from TransCanada Corporation's Safe Communities 
Initiative and from PPL Aquatic, Fitness & Spa Group. 
"This area of research is extremely important as we constantly look for ways 
to reduce the risk of drowning, especially among those at highest risk," said 
Barbara Byers, Public Education Director for the Lifesaving Society. "The 
risk-taking 18-to 24-year-olds continue to have the highest water-related 
death rate of any age group in Canada at 2.2. per 100,000. The good news is we 
can do something about it. Swim to Survive+™ aims to arm pre-teens with 
swimming survival skills that will keep them safe as teens and into early 
adulthood." 
"We know that as our children enter adolescence, they gain increased freedom 
and independence, spending more time with friends and making decisions in 
unsupervised settings," says Dr. Jean Clinton, an Associate Clinical 
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience at McMaster 
University, division of Child Psychiatry. "The teenage brain is under 
construction," says Dr. Clinton. "The thrill seeking, pleasure seeking part of 
their brain is developing at a faster rate than the judgment and impulse 
inhibition skills that adults have." 
New Research Findings: Parents Weigh In On Water Safety And Their Teens 
A recent Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll commissioned by the Lifesaving 
Society, revealed the following about Canadian parents of teens: 


    --  97% are confident about their teens' ability to stay safe
        around water, however 47% have either never taken swimming
        lessons or took swimming lessons more than five years ago
    --  Less than half (46%) say they worry very little or not at all
        about their teens' safety around water, despite the fact that
        one in five (19%) say their teens will participate in water
        activities unsupervised this summer, and nearly half (48%) say
        their teens will participate in both supervised and
        unsupervised water activities this summer
    --  28% of parents believe their teen would jump in to save a
        friend if they unexpectedly fell into a swimming pool (20% if
        it was a lake)

Dr. Clinton says that these stats are particularly concerning because the 
teenage brain is still developing. "Teens have to take risks - it's part of 
their development," says Dr. Clinton. "But we want them to take safer risks. 
And programs like Swim to Survive+™ will arm them with the necessary skills 
they need to take safer risks when they are with their friends."

"Parents know that their kids are going to be around water this summer," says 
Byers. "And, while they may feel confident that their teens will be safe, the 
fact is that many teens have not had the proper training to be safe and many 
of them would impulsively jump in to save a friend. With the Swim to 
Survive+™ program, the Lifesaving Society aims to equip teenagers with 
practical life saving skills that will prepare them for their increased 
independence and freedom, and hopefully reduce the incidents of drowning long 
term."

"Thanks to the generous support of PPL Aquatic, Fitness & Spa Group, 
TransCanada Corporation and our founding sponsor the Stephanie Gaetz Keepsafe 
Foundation, we are now able to expand our Swim to Survive+™ program to reach 
more Grade 7 students during the 2013/14 school year at this critical stage of 
their development," says Byers. "By targeting this age, we hope to equip them 
with the practical water safety skills they need to keep themselves and their 
friends safe well into adulthood."

The final statistics on fatal drownings for 2011 to 2012 are not yet available 
from provincial and territorial chief coroners and medical examiners; however, 
interim data collected by the Lifesaving Society using media and Internet 
reports indicates that drownings in Canada remain steady.

About the Lifesaving Society
The Lifesaving Society is a full-service provider of programs, products and 
services designed to prevent drowning. We save lives and prevent water-related 
injury through our training programs, Water Smart® public education, drowning 
prevention research, aquatic safety management and lifesaving sport. Each year 
in Canada, more than 1,000,000 Canadians participate in the Society's 
swimming, lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership programs. For more 
information, please visit www.lifesavingsociety.com.

About the 'Parents of Teens' Poll
From May 28(th) to May 30(th) 2013 an online survey was conducted among 1,011 
randomly selected Canadian adults who have at least one child between the ages 
of 13 and 17 and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which 
measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results 
have been statistically weighted according to gender and region Census data to 
ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada who 
have at least one child between the ages of 13 and 17. Discrepancies in or 
between totals are due to rounding.

Broadcast video to support this story is available to download at: 
http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=727

To schedule an interview, or for more information, please contact:

Andrea Burmaster Praxis 905-949-8255 ext. 231 416-453-2218 (cell) 
andrea@praxispr.ca  Danielle D'Agostino Praxis 905-949-8255 ext. 233 
416-525-6725 (cell) danielle@praxispr.ca  Barbara Byers The Lifesaving Society 
416-490-8844 416-727-5636 (cell) barbarab@lifeguarding.com

Video with caption: "Video: B-Roll: Lifesaving Society Swim to Survive+™ & 
the Teenage Brain". Video available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130624_C2715_VIDEO_EN_28
395.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130624_C2715_PHOTO_EN_2839
5.jpg&clientName=Lifesaving%20Society&caption=Video%3A%20B%2DRoll%3A%20Lifesavi
ng%20Society%20Swim%20to%20Survive%2B%26%238482%3B%20%26%20the%20Teenage%20Brai
n&title=LIFESAVING%20SOCIETY%20%2D%20Growing%20Body%20of%20Research%20Explains%
20Why%20Teens%20May%20Be%20at%20Increased%20Risk%20of%20Drowning&headline=Growi
ng%20Body%20of%20Research%20Explains%20Why%20Teens%20May%20Be%20at%20Increased%
20Risk%20of%20Drowning

Image with caption: "A growing body of research on the teen brain showing that 
there are physiological reasons that teens participate in risky behavior 
prompted the LifeSaving Society to expand its Swim To Survive+ program. Grade 
7 students learn Swim to Survive+ skills at Regent Park Aquatic Centre today. 
(CNW Group/Lifesaving Society)". Image available at:  
http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130624_C2715_PHOTO_EN_28421.jpg

Image with caption: "A growing body of research on the teen brain showing that 
there are physiological reasons that teens participate in risky behavior 
prompted the LifeSaving Society to expand its Swim To Survive+ program. Grade 
7 students learn Swim to Survive+ skills at Regent Park Aquatic Centre today. 
(CNW Group/Lifesaving Society)". Image available at:  
http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130624_C2715_PHOTO_EN_28422.jpg

PDF available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/24/20130624_C2715_DOC_EN_28403.pdf

PDF available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/24/20130624_C2715_DOC_EN_28397.pdf

PDF available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/24/20130624_C2715_DOC_EN_28398.pdf

PDF available at:  
http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/06/24/20130624_C2715_DOC_EN_28399.pdf

SOURCE: Lifesaving Society

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CO: CNW Enriched News Releases
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-0- Jun/24/2013 16:28 GMT