Living along streams and rivers may seem like a natural part of life in the Cedar Valley, whether you live in the city or out of town.

When the water gets too high and begins to flood, it can become very dangerous for all members of the family, and especially children.

Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years of age.

And, for all ages the temptation to play in dirty flood water can lead to serious health problems.

Avoid playing in flood water because:

 It may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage, harmful bacteria or electrically
charged from underground or downed power lines. Dirty water can make you and your
family sick. Wash your hands with soap and clean water if you have touched any type of
flood water.

 As little as 6 inches of moving water (above the ankles on an adult; at mid-calf or knee on a child) can sweep you off your feet.

 In many cases, children who drown had been out of sight less than 5 minutes while in the care of one or both parents. It doesn't take long and it doesn't take much water for young children to drown.

Play it safe. Keep kids from playing in or around flood water!

From:  Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, Ph.D., MPH
Director of Public Health for Black Hawk County