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Tips to keep kids & adults safe after deadly weekend of drownings on Michigan lakes

Posted at 5:41 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 05:41:50-04

(WXYZ) — It was a tragic weekend on the water in Michigan as at least four people drowned in separate incidents.

Among them, a 6-year-old girl from Detroit died after drowning at Kensington Metropark, and a 45-year-old Toledo man at Milan Beach in Monroe County.

As we move into the summer months and with summer vacation just around the corner for kids, safety in the water is a big concern.

Drowning accidents can happen quickly, and the Oakland County Sheriff's Office says to stay close to your kids, and even when you're celebrating, keep your drinking to a minimum.

"It happens in a second and they slip under the water," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

He said a young, inexperienced swimmer needs your undivided attention. Even in pools where water conditions are predictable, tragedy can strike.

"We know we've actually seen drownings in pools surrounded by adults and the child goes under and not one person is focused on that child," he said.

On Monday, police say a 6-year-old girl and her mother got separated at Kensington Metropark. People at Martindale Beach went on a desperate search, but when they found her, it was too late.

A lot of local and state parks don't have lifeguards. That's something Erin Alexander took note of at the beach on Tuesday.

"I was surprised they didn't have any today considering what happened yesterday," Alexander said.

Without a professional set of eyes, Macomb County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Renee Yax said to get your kids prepared.

"Swim classes are fantastic. Make sure people entering the water know how to swim," she said. "Use the buddy system. Don't go swimming by yourself.

Yax also said to dress your kids in bright clothing so they are easy to pick out. She recommends buying them type 1 or type 2 life jackets, and have a pillow around back to keep people upright.