Preventing drownings in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 07/17/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

WOODRUFF - When you get a smoldering hot day like today, going to the lake sounds pretty great.

But if you don't know how to swim, that could be a problem.

"Practice and try hard when you're in the water." said Harland resident, Gab Burch.

That's advice from a nine year old who just learned how to swim.

"My grandma was trying to teach me how to swim today, a little bit," Burch said.

"Then she gave me a float sort of thing to help me swim and I was a little scared."

Statistics are scary too.

Drownings are the second leading cause of accidental death for children between one and 14 years old.

That's why YMCA swim instructor Karen Fiocchi wants parents to watch their children.

"A lot of our lakes do not have life guards. They're public beaches, but there's no lifeguards. So that means swim at your own risk," said Fiocchi.

"So it means even if you're a good swimmer, swim with a buddy. If you're a kid, make sure your parents are there. Parents make sure you're there and you know where your kids are all the time at the beach."

Kids are at the highest risk of drowning when they're between ages one and four.

That's why this mom wants her daughter close to the shore.

"I don't like them going past the buoys because they're there for a reason. So definitely stay in there," Milwaukee resident, Amber Vandenorth said.

"My daughter, I just kind of like her on the shore more because obviously it's really shallow and she's little, but with him, out to the bouy's."

This twelve year old is glad to have supervision around.

"Just make sure you always have an adult or an older person with you that is responsible enough to watch you when you're swimming," said West Bend resident, Braden Hay.

"And always keep close to another person just in case because you never know what's going to happen."

Good advice from a very intelligent twelve year old.

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Uihlein is seeking to buy 1.75 acres along Rest Lake, where the footpath is located. But a tentative deal with the Department of Natural Resources was put on hold after critics raised questions.

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