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Help Prevent Number One Cause of Death for Children Age One to FourSubmitted: 05/15/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


RHINELANDER - Within the next few weeks the water will warm up and families will start to hit the beaches at our local lakes.

The Oneida County Drowning Prevention Task Force wants parents to remember to keep their eyes open.

In the last three years three people have drowned in Oneida County. It's the leading cause of death in one to four-year-olds.

Local advocates say preventing it can be as easy as keeping your eyes on the water.

"The big thing is that parents are supervising the kids; that they're not texting, they're not reading, they're not sleeping in the sun; that there is a designated water watcher. And they can pick up the water watcher card here at the Y if they're interested in having a card for themselves," says YMCA Aquatics Director Melissa Nieman.

When groups go to the beach having a water watcher card can help adults share the responsibility.

They can take turns being in charge of paying complete attention to what's going on in the water, and tuning out everything else.

The YMCA of the Northwoods also offers the SPLASH program. It's funded through the United Way, and is free to the public. Kids can take an hour lesson on water safety.

You can contact the YMCA for more information.




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ARBOR VITAE - Many people enjoy being on the lake and away from work on Memorial Day.

But some volunteers were working hard Monday on local lakes to prevent the spread of AIS.

Volunteers from Clean Boats, Clean Waters work at different lakes to check boats as they come in and out of the water. They often catch common mistakes, and teach boaters how they can help stop the spread of AIS.

"They usually recommend draining the water up away from the landing that way anything mixed in with the water in the boat doesn't get back in the lake," said volunteer Aaron Tomasoski. "Pretty often people will drain it out. It's been that way for a while, but people are starting to get a hang of it. But we are making progress on that."

Clean Boats, Clean Waters is a state-wide volunteer program that grew out of a program called Milfoil Masters, created by Minocqua middle schoolers in 2003.

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