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Summer Water Safety For Children

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Lawton, Ok_ The open water can be dangerous for children. Many lakes and ponds are murky and visibility is next to nothing. 

That's why Lieutenant Robby Edmonson is offering tips to keep children safe.  He has been a member of the Lawton police department's dive team for 16 years.

"I've had to give a mother back her child in a body bag, I don't ever want to do that again," Edmonson said. "Kids think the water is fun. And what they can't comprehend is that with the sheer size of a lake, along with weather elements that the fun can quickly turn into a deadly encounter."

That lack of understanding from the child requires parents to use common sense. 

Flotation devices are a must.  And always keep an eye on your children, especially if they're in the water but even when they are not. Children can disappear and wander to the water within a matter of seconds.

"You step off in 15 feet of water out here and you can't swim, you aren't coming back," Edmonson said.

But the danger isn't just in swimming or picnicking near the water, it's also in boating.

"Memorial day weekend, I see parents driving around in their boat and there's 6 kids on the bow of the boat hanging onto the rails," said Edmonson.

One wrong turn and the children could be gone in a matter of seconds.  A good reason why there are laws in place for boating.  It's something that parents should enforce.

"What price do you put on fun? Your child's life, your life, somebody else's life? Come on.

You may seem a "little" less fun for now---but at least everyone will make it home safely," Edmonson said.

Also, make sure that you don't let alcohol get in the way of your common sense.  Edmonson says alcohol is unfortunately involved in many of the problems they see.

These rules apply even if you aren't dealing with open water. Swimming pools are just as dangerous for children if you aren't cautious.

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