Officials urge caution on Iowa rivers after 3 children drown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials urge caution on Iowa rivers after 3 children drown


As a parent, Teri Fisher of Riverside always has safety on her mind.

"We're always worried about our kids, but they also have to have fun and be kids as well," she said.

Being a kid means she's okay with her son and nephew spending an afternoon on the Iowa River kayaking and swimming.

As long as they're wearing life jackets.

"Try to be lenient and let them try some new things and just ask them to be safe in the meantime," Fisher said.

While many others see little danger swimming in Iowa's rivers, law enforcement officials warn that conditions are much less uniform than that of a supervised area sectioned off for swimming and present dangers.

"We recommend that people, if they want to swim in the water, they want to be in the water, go to regular designated swimming areas," said Lonny Pulkrabek, Johnson County Sheriff. 

Shallow river water can be deceiving and can lead to a false sense of comfort, which may have been a contributing factor in the drowning of three kids in Marshalltown on Wednesday.

"You can be walking across water that's ankle deep and all of a sudden have a drop off, and often times when you have the drop offs there's going to be more current," Pulkrabek said.

Officials say many of these swimming accidents in Iowa's waterways are avoidable.

Life jackets, adult supervision for young kids, and common sense are a must.

"The problem is people get a wild hare at time and say let's go run down the river at 10 P.M., 11 P.M. at night, it's just a bad mix," Pulkrabek said.

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