Drownings prompt water safety warnings from experts | ICIN

Despite temperatures spiking over the past few delays, emergency officials said swimming in retention ponds to cool off can be very dangerous.

GREENWOOD, Ind. — On Wednesday night, two young girls were pulled from a retention pond in a Greenwood neighborhood. It happened around 8 p.m. in the 1200 block of Edgewater Drive in the Clear Brook subdivision.  

Indiana Department officials said a group of kids was playing in the water when two of them went missing.

The retention pond is fenced in and has signs that say, “no swimming” and “no fishing.” Experts say that’s because the water can be very dangerous. 

“One of the most important messages for the summer is if you are going to get out and enjoy the water, make sure you are in a good place. A retention pond like this is not it,” said Lt. Angela Goldman, an Indiana conservation officer. 

The tragic accident in Greenwood marks the second drowning in two days. Another happened at an apartment pool on the northwest side of Indianapolis. 

RELATED: Child dies after being pulled from Greenwood retention pond, another in critical condition

“I know it’s hot and the best way to cool off is in the water, but make sure you got adult supervision. Make sure you are wearing lifejackets. Make sure you got a buddy system, and above all, please just be careful,” Goldman said. 

These tips can be applied to any type of water including pools, lakes and reservoirs like Geist.  

RELATED: Coroner identifies 5-year-old child in possible drowning at northwest Indy apartment complex pool

“Each one of those bodies of water has its own dangers,” said Capt. John Mehling with the Fishers Fire Department. 

He said accidents do happen so it’s important to be prepared for the “what if.”

If you see someone struggling, Mehling said it’s best not to jump into the water. Instead, find something to reach out to them with like a pool noodle or a lifebuoy. Also, lay on the ground so you don’t get pulled in. Then immediately call 911. 

“So, if plan A doesn’t work, you got plan B on the way,” he said.  

If you do find yourself struggling to swim, try not to panic.  

“Try to relax and lay your body out. Put your arms out and spread your legs and start taking slow breaths,” Mehling said. “You can rest and stay calm. That way you can still call for help.”

His best advice is to take swimming lessons, which is something anyone can do at any age. 

“Bottom line is to teach your children to swim. Teaching your children to swim is going to solve 95% of the issues,” Mehling said.

RELATED: HSE swim coach teaching infants water survival skills

A new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows how risky water can be for young kids. It’s the leading cause of unintentional death in children 1 to 4 years old. 

  • Last year, there was a 17% spike in non-deadly drowning injuries among children.
  • There are a number of precautions parents can take to make sure kids are as safe as possible while in the water:
  • Make sure there’s always someone watching kids in the water.
  • No one swims alone.
  • Have gates and locks around pools at home.
  • Keep your kids in life vests if they can’t swim.

Click here for CPSC’s latest Child Drowning Report, which includes more safety tips.

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