Study: Child drowning deaths on the rise, safety experts remind the public to stay safe

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JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The summer swimming season is approaching fast and many Magic Valley families will head out to the nearest public pool, lake or river to cool down, and safety experts remind the public about being cautious.

A new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that child drowning deaths increased from 2015 to 2016. The report shows there were 389 youth drownings under the age of 15 in 2016 compare to 348 in 2015.

On average, USCPS found more than 6,000 pool, spa related injuries occurred between 2016-2018.

At the Jerome Recreation Center, Gary Warr is the executive director and reminds parents to be alert at all times when their children are in the water.

"Drowning incidents happen and it's quiet," Warr said. "Somebody slowly, quietly slips in the water and it's important for people to understand lifeguards are there to help but not there to supervise and so you need to make sure when you bring your kids to a pool, a lake, that you have appropriate supervision. Because there's no substitute for direct supervision."

Parents like Erin Galliher and Morgan Gonzalez said they make sure their young ones stay with them at all times.

"Constant supervision. I don't let them go too far from me," Gonzalez said.

"We do life jackets for the littlest ones, and we stay in the same pool," Galliher said.

The report also shows June has one of the highest reported numbers of drowning deaths. Warr said families purchasing the correct safety gear could help prevent incidents from happening.

"They need to make sure that they're using the right flotation devices that are Red Cross certified or Coast Guard certified, and once again never use those as a substitute for supervision," he said.

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