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Drowning major cause of death for little ones

As you plan your summers for your kids, please, please get them swimming lessons. Here's why, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Drowning results in more deaths among children 1-4 years of age than any cause except birth defects, but early swimming lessons are effective in reducing this risk. In the US from 2005-2009, an average of 3,880 people died from unintentional drowning each year and more than 5,700 received emergency department care for nonfatal drowning. Overall, the death rate for males was four times that of females. Children 4 years old or younger had the highest rates of drowning; higher than any cause except birth defects.  Half of these incidents occurred in swimming pools. Finally, half of all nonfatal drowning victims treated in emergency departments required hospital admission or transfer for further care.  Because swimming pools (often at their own home) remain high risk locations for children 4 years old or younger and research shows that early formal swimming lessons reduce risk, public health and medical professionals should encourage and support swimming lessons as a life-saving skill along with other proven interventions.

(S-R archives photo)

Whitewater rivers claim two more drowning victims

RIVER RUNNING — Two more deaths have been confirmed among whitewater river runners in the Inland Northwest, making 2011 one of the deadliest rafting and kayak seasons in memory.

  • In Montana, a woman in her 60s was killed in a rafting accident on the swollen Blackfoot River near Missoula on Tuesday.
  • In Washington, the body of a Kittitas River kayaker missing since Monday evening was found by authorities Tuesday afternoon.

AMONG THE OTHER recent drowning or major injury incidents:

Read on for details from the Associated Press about the latest two confirmed deaths.

Rep. Roberts’ Wife Drowns In Payette

The holiday weekend was marred by sad news for state Rep. Ken Roberts of Donnelly, whose wife, Mary Jo, drowned in the Payette River; her body was recovered Saturday about six miles downstream from McCall. Mrs. Roberts, 49, was the subject of a search along the river starting Friday, after she went missing after reportedly going for her usual morning walk before work along the river, which is raging with high flow; her vehicle and belongings were found near a bridge in McCall. KTVB has a full report here; funeral services are pending under the direction of Heikkila Funeral Chapel in McCall/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Rep. Roberts’ wife drowns in Payette River

The holiday weekend was marred by sad news for state Rep. Ken Roberts of Donnelly, whose wife, Mary Jo, drowned in the Payette River; her body was recovered Saturday about six miles downstream from McCall. Mrs. Roberts, 49, was the subject of a search along the river starting Friday, after she went missing after reportedly going for her usual morning walk before work along the river, which is raging with high flow; her vehicle and belongings were found near a bridge in McCall. KTVB has a full report here; funeral services are pending under the direction of Heikkila Funeral Chapel in McCall. Ken Roberts, 47, is the Idaho House Republican Caucus chairman and a former 1st District congressional candidate.

Fast Action Saves 4YO From Drowning

A 4-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after bystanders pulled his lifeless body out of Coeur d’Alene Lake at Independence Point. Witnesses say they have no idea how long the boy was floating face down in the water before being rescued. It happened shortly before 2:00 p.m. on Friday. Some people noticed the boy floating by himself in the water and started yelling for someone to jump in after him. That’s when Brian Best and Darin Anderson jumped into action. “As soon as we hear her yell we jumped out there,” said Brian Best. “I picked him up and started coming back and I handed him to my buddy Darin here.” “He was white, he had purple lips and he wasn’t breathing,” said Darin Anderson. Once the child got to land, Misty Bebout ran over to help out. “He was completely blue, his eyes were in the back of his head,” said Misty Bebout. Misty, along with another man, Gabe Piper, started CPR. Fortunately they were able to save him/Mike Perry, KHQ. More here. (Kerri Thoreson/More Main Street shot this photo of City Beach, looking back toward Independence Point, Friday afternoon.)

Question: How old were your children before you allowed them to swim unsupervised in one of the local lakes or rivers?

Drowning Victim ID’d As Spirit Lake Man

Michael W. Blankartz, 28, of Spirit Lake, has been identified as the victim of the Spokane River drowning this morning near Corbin Park in Post Falls. Blankartz and Danny J. Richison, 29, of Post Falls had put a canoe in the water at the East end of Corbin Park in an attempt to float to the old Pleasant View Bridge area. Shortly after pushing out from shore, the canoe flipped, tossing both men from the canoe. Richison reported that he was able to hang on to the canoe for a short period of time and get back to shore. He last saw his friend floating in the river just below the first set of rapids. The victim’s body was recovered in 4 feet of water, about 1 mile downstream from Corbin Park, by KCSD Dive Team/Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department news release.

2 Nine Mile Falls Teens Drown @ Priest Lake

Two Nine Mile Falls teenagers drowned early Saturday morning in North Idaho’s Lion Head Creek at the north end of Priest Lake. Identities of the victims, ages 16 and 19, were being withheld until relatives could be notified. Bonner County sheriff’s deputies said they were called to the Lion Head Campground about 1 a.m. by surviving members of a five-person group. The survivors told officers the teens were missing and presumed to be in the fast-flowing creek, about one-half mile upstream of the East Side Road bridge/John Craig, SR. More here.