Thanks to a $2,000 donation from the St. Lukes health system, Boise Parks and Recreation, Boise Fire and Idaho River Sports are partnering to bring life jackets to children and families who are recreating in the swimming ponds around Esther Simplot Park.
St. Luke’s awarded the first grant for life jackets to the City of Boise back in 2017, since then, the partnership has allowed hundreds of park visitors to recreate safely in and on the water.
Despite the pandemic, Idaho River Sports employees managed the life jacket loaner program out of their shop located next to the park last summer. Anyone visiting the ponds this year can still stop in and be fitted for a state-of-the-art life jacket to use while in the water. Once their visit is complete, they can drop off the life jacket at the shop for cleaning and sanitization so it can then be loaned to another park visitor.
This effort also serves as a reminder of the dangers that can come from water recreation, especially for young children. St. Luke’s Children’s Pediatric trauma team in Boise cares for children involved in water-related accidents every year, including drownings, near-drownings, and boating injuries.
Drowning is fast and silent and it can happen within 60 seconds and in less than two inches of water.