It's a sad reality that Idaho has been among national leaders in drownings for the past couple of years. The state's unpredictable weather, rugged outdoors, and large number of reservoirs may all factor into these unfortunate statistics.

In 2021, Idaho rivaled states such as Florida and California in accidental drowning incidents in the country, according to data shared by Boise State Public Radio. Of the number of Americans that drown unintentionally each day, the Red Cross estimates that 20 percent are kids under the age of fourteen. Furthermore, nearly half of adult Americans don't have the necessary water skills to save their own lives if need be, according to Red Cross findings.

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I have two kids. My daughter, who's almost twenty-one years of age now, took to swimming like a fish at a young age. I have a 6-year-old boy who is the exact opposite and doesn't like it when his face gets wet. That's all going to change this summer, because I don't want him to become another unfortunate state statistic.

My wife is also in the process of learning to swim and she is almost forty. She spent a great deal of her youth in Twin Falls and attended high school there, and admits swimming wasn't something that was forced on her or her five siblings.

When you combine the number of adults and kids in the U.S. that aren't safe to be on the water--this includes floaties, rafts, boats, kayaks, and jet skis--disaster can happen in the blink of an eye anywhere, and at any time.

Be safe on Idaho waterways this summer. There are swimming lessons being taught in just about every major city.

Stanley Lake Idaho

Thousand Springs State Park

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