Safety Around Water

The drowning of a 6-year-old Naperville boy in a retention pond last weekend is prompting many to ask, “how can this be prevented in the future?”

Naperville News 17 took a look at what you need to know to keep yourself and your children safe.

Retention ponds can be found all over the city with various depths. What kids don’t realize is that the ponds have steep drop-offs, unlike gradual inclines at beaches and pools.

One of the best ways is to make sure you know where the child is at all times around the water.

“I think the first thing, obviously, is that if your child is going to be around water, you have to be there,” said Mark Thurow, Bureau Chief for the Naperville Fire Department. “You have to be vigilant and be around your children when that is going on.”

It is also important to teach young ones how to swim at an early age.

“The stronger a swimmer you are, the more confident you will be in the water, so certainly teaching swimming skills is very important,” said Valerie Cahill, a Risk Management Specialst for the YMCA of Metro Chicago. “Treading water, floating and also teaching some basic rescue: how you can do an extension assist of somebody.”

Overall children and parents need to be aware of safety threats that can be hidden in their backyards.

“I think it’s just about understanding the dangers that lurk around every pretty pond that’s out here,” said Thurow. “They’re not like the swimming pool at the neighborhood complex.”


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