Water safety tips from the DNR

Local News

POLK CITY – Water can be dangerous. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants people to have fun but also be safe when on the water.

Recently there have been separate drowning instances and water rescues, just in the last week.

Erika Garcia, a mother of two, says hearing stories of this makes her hold her kids a little tighter.

“It’s hard being a mom because you just love them so much you’re scared for whats going to happen to them, that’s something you fear for everyday,” said Garcia.

Garcia said after hearing recent stories of the water rescues, she is afraid of what may come next for her kids when they are in the water.

“It’s kind of hard because you want them to have fun but at the same time you’re scared for what’s waiting for them,” said Garcia.

Erika’s family has experienced a drowning before. So, she knows firsthand how difficult that can be and how it can effect a family.

“So that’s kind of fearful, because you never know what’s waiting for you,” said Garcia.

We talked to Big Creek’s Park Manager, Chad Kelchen.

He said having a watchful eye around any water helps reduce the risk.

“I’m a parent myself and it’s easy to get distracted but just keep and eye on the kiddos don’t trust that a sibling is watching them,” said Kelchan.


“It’s that one time that always hurts somebody,” said Kelchan.

It doesn’t matter where you are.

“That can happen anywhere, it doesn’t have to happen at a state park.”

It can happen at any time.

He says the parks need parents to keep watch over the waters.

“In the end you have to be responsible for your kids and yourself, because we can only be so many places at once,” said Kelchan.

Erika can’t imagine something ever happening to her children.

“I wish it to no mom because when you have a kid, they’re just everything for you,” said Garcia.

Kelchan said if you are ever in a situation like this to first call 911 immediately, because every minute matters.

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