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Idaho kids get free life jackets and water safety lessons ahead of summer recreation

Children are being fitted for life jackets.
Richard Rodriguez
Boise State Public Radio
Any children who missed the event can go to Idaho River Sports and ask for a life jacket to take home, no questions asked.

In an annual event teaching children and families about water safety, Boise Parks and Recreation, St. Luke’s, Boise Fire Department and Idaho River Sports partnered to give free life jackets to local kids.

The program started in 2018 in an effort to help prevent accidental drownings.

According to the CDC, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death behind motor vehicles crashes for children from ages one to 14. Idaho is among the top 10 states in the country with the highest rates of drownings.

Program organizers expressed the importance of safety on the water, but also stressed access to life jackets.

“We do have a need in the community for those that might not otherwise have access to a state of the art life preserver or life jacket or PDF,” said Director of Boise Parks and Recreation Doug Holloway. PDF is the acronym for personal flotation device.

“We're going to continue to work with our partners in St. Luke's and Idaho River Sports to provide those free life jackets,” he said.

During the training on how to stay safe on and in the water this summer, organizers fitted children with free life jackets. Then they asked the kids questions about what to do in case of emergency and what to do before swimming.

Children were taught to never swim alone, always wear their life jackets and to make sure they are properly secure, and if they are in danger to wave their hands above their heads.

Holloway says kids who missed the event can go to Idaho River Sports and ask for a life jacket to take home, no questions asked.

Loaner life jackets will also be available for public use from stations at Quinn’s Pond and Esther Simplot Park.

For further information on how to be safe in the water this summer, please visit the CDC.

I'm Richard and I started in 2022 as a summer intern. I graduated from University of Idaho in 2023 and am working as a newsroom assistant. Currently, I am doing stories on a variety of subjects to get a better understanding of different beats. However, I would love to cover stories about diverse issues.

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