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Drowning Prompts Safety Concerns

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a two-year-old boy, after officials said he drowned at a family friend’s house.

Illinois Valley Fire crews were first on the scene to the home on the 23,000 block of Redwood Highway. The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office said officers did everything they could but could not save the boy. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said the boy drowned because he was unsupervised.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention said children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates. Officials have not confirmed yet whether the pool involved in the incident was an in-ground pool or an above ground pool.

Experts said there are many tips to ensure your safety in the water. Orley’s Stoves and Spa owners said when you purchase any type of pool, tied to that device are a list of codes. The codes are not only enforced by state and city law, but officials said they are there most importantly to protect the consumer. Some codes include the requirement of safety ladders that lock in an upright position to ensure no one can climb up when unattended. Orley’s Stoves and Spas only sells above ground pools saying they are the safest for young children.

“It’s hard for a child to take and climb in, plus the safety codes take in require anything that is less than that a fence around the pool which is important,” said Larry Milligan.

The CDC said a four-sided isolation fence can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 83%, compared to a three sided fence. Larry Milligan said pool covers can work double-duty, protecting both the pool and those around it. At Orley’s, pool covers come standard with above ground pools. The majority are six inches thick and can hold hundreds of pounds without sinking in.

Officials said whenever you purchase any type of pool, it is advisable to check with building officials and your local code department to make sure that area is secure and safe.