West Valley Medical Center officials remind parents about water safety

Posted: 10:33 PM, May 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-13 04:33:37Z

Dr. Justin Sempsrott with West Valley Meidical Center says the most affected age group for drowning in Idaho is one to four years old.

He says children especially under the age of five need undivided adult supervision and kids should be at arms length

"If there's access to a canal or a park where your visiting then you should have that same level of vigilance as if they were at a swimming pool."

Not only around canals and pool,s but bathtubs, yards, and play pools.

He says uninterrupted attention means no texting, social media, reading, or phone calls.

"Drowning is silent and it only takes a kid about fifteen seconds before they slip under the water which really is just a quick going to answer the door, going to move the laundry or those momentary lapses."

Dr. Sempsrott says in the younger age group, some of the most dangerous places are back yard pools and bathtubs.

For high school and college age, he says they see a lot of boating related drowning deaths particularly from not wearing a life jacket.

"Even for strong competent swimmers, water temperature, currents and long time in the water can affect your ability to swim."

He says there are a lot of misguided information on non fatal drowning.

"Non fatal drowning is far more common than fatal drowning. For every drowning death, there's five more people that drown and seek care from an emergency department."

Dr. Sempsrott says if you're worried about a family member or friend.

"Always bring them to the doctor, bring them to the emergency department for evaluation."

Boise River flows have been *decreasing slightly over the last week, but are still flowing at a dangerous speeds above six-thousand cubic feet per second.

Water needs to slow down below 15-hundred cubic feet per second for officials to open the river for floating.

Last year, that happened on June 22nd.