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Toronto Public Health offers tips, reminders for water safety

TORONTO – Toronto Public Health has some reminders for people to ensure their day at the beach is fun and safe.

Drownings at Toronto beaches have increased in recent years, mainly because people haven’t learned how to swim.

Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. David McKeown encourages everyone to take swimming lessons before going into the water.

“There are preventable accidents happening so the kind of measures that are important to prevent drowning is learn to swim, particularly for young children,” he said.

“If you’re an adult, there are still classes you can take.”

He also wants parents to stay close to their kids in the water.

“Be within arms reach of your children. If your children are young and they’re non-swimmers in particular, you’ve got to be able to grab them when they get into difficulty,” McKeown said.

The international Blue Flag is now flying over Toronto public beaches for another summer of swimming and sun.

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that meet world-class environmental standards.

Even the sand is kept clean. Carol Guy works with two border collies to chase birds away from the beaches to reduce their droppings.

Guy says “80 per cent of the E. coli caused on those beaches was called by fecal droppings from birds.”

A single goose can poop 2.2 pounds per day, she says.