How to keep kids safe while swimming

How to keep kids safe while swimming

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by Karen Zatkulak

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBKaren

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 5:56 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 7:28 AM

BOISE -- Many people in the Treasure Valley are beating the heat by hitting the water this summer. However, there's a serious safety concern when it comes to swimming, especially for children.

That's because Idaho ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to the number of drownings each year.

In 2011, 21 people lost there lives in the water in Idaho, including children.

Yet, there are steps you can take to make sure that tragedy doesn't happen.

Kadie Johnson has a 6-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Johnson says both have been taking swimming lessons for years.

"I just think it's so important for the kids to be comfortable in the water and to feel like they're not going to panic in the water," said Johnson.

She is one of many parents concerned about the risk of drowning.

"It does seem like you always hear about the tragedy in someone's backyard pool when someone's kid just jumps in," said Johnson.

Just last month, authorities say a 6-year-old drowned in an apartment pool in West Boise. Unfortunately Idaho sees many tragedies in the water, ranking fourth when it comes to drownings. Johnson say keeping a close eye on your kids is the best way to protect them.

"I'm always watching where they are at in the pool, it's just so easy, they can slip in the deep end, panic, and then that's where trouble starts," said Johnson.

Pool managers say making sure children are comfortable in the water is important.

Drew Williams is the assistant manager at Ivywild Pool. She says they stress the importance of supervision and strong swimming.

"Knowing your child's abilities and also knowing where they are in order to make sure they don't get in a situation where they get in over their heads," said Williams.

Williams says even if your child is a good swimmer, they can still get in trouble, but there are clear signs if they need help.

"We watch for signs that a child is becoming tired like their kick is getting slower or they may be struggling to keep their head up above water, they might be out of breath," said Williams.

City of Boise pool officials says so far, it looks like Idaho is on track to have more drownings this year than last. They tell us most happen because our state has so much open water, like rivers and lakes that don't have lifeguards. They also want to remind parents that children under 14 always need a life jacket if they are swimming in open water.

If you would like more information on swimming lessons in Boise, click HERE.

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