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Water safety: tips for parents and kids

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GRAND FORKS—

It's been a little over a week since a 6-year-old boy from Grand Fork tragically died in a drowning accident while on a family vacation.

With that being said local experts are warning parents here at home about the dangers of water.

Andrea Loar takes takes her kids to the Elks Pool each week to watch them swim and play.

And she couldn't imagine losing one of her sons.

"It's always our biggest fear," said Loar, "even some of the most responsible parents have accidents. You look away for a minute and something could change."

So instead she takes matters into her own hands always on the watch even if lifeguards are available.

And this mom shouldn't be alone in her efforts.

"They're helpful but they can't watch all the kids all of the time. They're not a babysitter so it's still a good idea to have an active person watching besides lifeguards," said Jasmine Wangen, Safe Kids Grand Forks.

"You can always just wear a lifejacket," said John May, Swimmer.

Protection for children who may not even be in the water.  

"It's always possible they could fall into a dock, slip on the shoreline and if nobody sees them right away, at least that life jacket is gonna help keep them above water," said Wangen.

And when the unthinkable happens Safe Kids says there's three words your child can fall back on.

"Reach, Throw, Go: So if you can reach for them, that's the first thing you want to do," said Wangen, "if they're a little bit further in grab something that you can stick it out to them or something that you can throw to them. To pull them in, if they're too far out, we tell kids go go get help. Don't go in the water."

Ideas for an experience no parent or child wants to go through.

"They're not the strongest swimmers and so we just always like to keep an extra eye on them," said Loar.

Safe Kids Grand Forks is loaning families life vests fitting children as young as infants.

For more information, click here.

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