Families will soon be flocking to Iowa lakes and rivers for fun in the sun and water, but the good times sometimes end in tragedy. State figures show nearly 40 people drown in Iowa during 2002. Angela Mickalide, spokeswoman for the Safe Kids Campaign, says her group’s survey of parents of children who drown found many parents didn’t pay close enough attention. Mickalide says “They told us that they were talking to someone, supervising other children, eating, reading, talking on a cell phone and even a few admitted they were closing their eyes and relaxing when their children were in and near water. This obviously is passive supervision, it’s not adequate.” She says drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death among children age 14 and under. Forget the notion shallow water is safe — Mickalide says children can drown in as little as an inch of water.She says “All it takes is for the airway to be covered and within a matter of minutes, oxygen is no longer being provided to the brain, the child loses consciousness and either drowns or sometimes more tragically, sustains a near drowning, which has long term cognitive and physical effects.” Mickalide says parents need to remember safety tips around the water, including active supervision and the use of life jackets.
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