Manitoba

Child deaths drop in Manitoba but water safety still a concern

Fewer children died in Manitoba last year, but the province's children's advocate says more work needs to be done.

Darlene MacDonald says one area of concern is that 5 Manitoba children drowned last year

The Lifesaving Society is calling on the Manitoba government to launch an inquest following three recent drownings on public beaches. (CBC)

Fewer children died in Manitoba last year, but the province's children's advocate says more work needs to be done.

The annual report from Darlene MacDonald says 149 children died in the fiscal year that ended last March — 18 fewer than the previous year and the lowest in at least five years.

Almost two-thirds of the deaths were from natural causes, while another 20 per cent were from undetermined causes.

Six deaths involved children who were either in or had recently been involved with child welfare and half of those were attributed to medical causes or motor vehicle crashes.

MacDonald says one area of concern is that five Manitoba children drowned last year.

Her office has emphasized the need for precautions, especially in First Nations communities because many sit along rivers or lakes.

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