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Water Safety in State Parks

PALO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--The hot, humid weather is sending people in droves to local rivers and lakes.

Now, with a second drowning in black hawk county in a week if you're headed out to a local state park, safety really does start with you.

It's a busy day here at pleasant creek.

"We're on summer vacation so we just decided to come to the beach together,” said Maddos Elliot.

Seven year old Maddos and his friend Caden have been swimming since they were about four and they say aren't afraid of the water.

"Cause I can stay under water for a long time,” he said.

 Both youngsters also have parents keeping a protective eye on them.

At Iowa’s state parks there are no lifeguards; everyone swims at their own risk.

"There might be a hole there one time and a sandbar where you used to go swimming and you go there now and the sandbars gone and there's a ten or 12 foot deep hole,” said Joe Wilkinson of the Iowa DNR.

Last year three were 23 unintentional deaths due to drowning in Iowa, many of them in the state's many rivers and lakes.

"I had an experience last summer where I did flip a canoe out here in Palo and if I hadn't had a life jacket, I think I probably would have drowned,” said park goer Chris Clime.

It's why he says he takes extra precautions when out in the water, especially with his young son who can't swim.

At the beach, it's important for parents to keep their eye on children at all times. Children under five should never be more than an arm’s length away.

"Keep track of where those kids are. Have them check in with you every ten to 15 minutes,” said Wilkinson.


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