Illinois is experiencing a spate of drownings. There were 15 all of last year, yet in the last four weeks, there have been 10 just of children under age 17, according to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. They’ve been in community pools, backyard kiddie pools, local ponds, and in bodies of water such as Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, where tricky currents play a role, says Dr. Elizabeth Powell in the emergency room at Lurie.
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Her advice: Wear a flotation device if you’re on a boat, and keep an eye on children. “Young children need to be supervised even around a very modest amount of water in a backyard pool,” she said. “They slip and fall and get their face under water. Seconds later they choke, begin to swallow water, begin to panic and perhaps cannot get themselves upright again.”