Staying Safe: Keeping a close eye on kids helps prevent drownings

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A child falling into the water during a family gathering is the most common drowning scenario. For that reason, the Utah Department of Health is reminding parents how quickly kids get into water danger.

KSL News conducted our own demonstration to help your family Stay Safe. We watched parents and children at the Gateway to show how the time it took for mom to answer a phone call, just 15 seconds, was enough time for brother and sister to make their way to the fountain. Fortunately, they were more interested in the rocks than the water.

We spotted another escapee who, in a matter of 15 seconds, had wandered to the other side of the fountain before mom went and brought him back.

We found another family that let us follow their tot, but we were eyeing the wrong tot. It wasn't the runner, but the crawler who best illustrated what can happen.

In just 30 seconds, while mom chatted and brother wandered, it was baby brother who had made his way to the fountain and was delighted by what he saw. Mom quickly ran to retrieve him.

These demonstrations underscore the health department's warning before the Pioneer Day holiday: Stay close to your children around water. Even if it makes them unhappy, it keeps them out of danger.

"Really, you never, ever should leave your child alone near water. Parents have to be within an arm's length of their kid, because it only takes seconds for something horrible to happen and a child to drown," said Jenny Johnson, media and education coordinator for the Utah Department of Health.

Since we're talking about seconds, here's a sobering statement from an emergency room doctor at Primary Children's Medical Center. He told us a child can lose consciousness in water within 60 seconds, so doctors hope parents will remember the importance of close supervision to avoid tragedy.


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Nadine Wimmer


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