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Doctor cautions people who are seeking alternative swimming spots

Little girl swimming. (Photo: Max Pixel)
Little girl swimming. (Photo: Max Pixel)(KOSA)
Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 4:02 PM CDT
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There's water in Appleton's Erb Park pool, but there won't be any swimmers this summer. It's just one of many community pools that are closed because of the coronavirus, leading people to try and find other places to dip their toes and swim.

"We've tried every other beach, they're all closed. We went to Fremont the other day and then the cops ended up coming saying it was supposed closed, so we left. Otherwise we go to the Neenah Pool, but they have limits on that so we just wanted to be outside all day with no limitations," says Alyssandra Pivonka of Neenah.

The beach at Menominee Park in Oshkosh has become a popular place to swim, and Howard residents are enjoying the Duck Creek Quarry. Creeks and rivers can be tempting too, but one local pediatrician is cautioning people about swimming in some of these areas.

According to Dr. Abby Smolcich of ThedaCare Physicians Pediatrics-Darboy, "There can be visibility issues, it can be very difficult to see the bottom. There can be rocks and other items there that can be a trip hazard or could cause injuries. Currents are a big issue, especially in rivers and creeks."

Many of these open waters do caution people there are no lifeguards on duty and you're swimming at your own risk. It's a good reminder that parents needs to be vigilant when taking their kids swimming in these types of places.

"There's a very big misconception that drowning is loud," says Dr. Smolcich. Adding, "A lot of people think that if their child happened to fall into a pool or a lake and they are drowning that they'll be able to tell, they'll be able to hear them, they'll be able to see them, they'll be thrashing around and that's not the case, drowning is silent."

Doctors aren't trying to scare parents or keep them from taking their families to places to swim, they are just reminding people of dangers in hopes everyone uses caution when taking a dip.

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