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Fairbanks Memorial Hospital launches ‘Water Watcher’ program to help improve kids’ safety during water activities

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Alaska state boat safety office are stocking life jackets...
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Alaska state boat safety office are stocking life jackets at popular water bodies throughout the summer.(Ryan Osborne)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 5:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, bodies of water across Fairbanks will become popular spots for families to celebrate and enjoy the outdoors. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital’s (FMH) Fairbanks Safe Kids Coalition is working to make any and all water based activities that much safer this year.

The Coalition, lead by FMH is adding a new campaign to their summer roster for the promotion of safe boating and water activities. Along with their annual efforts with the Alaska state boat safety office stocking life jackets at popular water bodies throughout the summer, they are also advocating for adults to participate in a program called “Water Watchers.”

Angela Adams, leader of the Fairbanks Safe Kids Coalition explained, “One of the campaigns National Safe Kids has is called Water Watchers. We’re wanting people to designate an adult in the group during your outing to become a water watcher, and that is an adult that’s gonna be specifically designated to be supervising the kids while they’re playing so that if other adults get distracted, then we’d have a designated person. The kids also know who that water watcher is. They’re making little cards that say ‘Water Watcher’. You can go online to SafeKids.org and get them, or you can contact us at the hospital, The Safe Kids Coalition, and we’d be happy to show you how to do the Water Watcher program,” said Adams.

Life jacket loaner stations can be found throughout Fairbanks at Pioneer Park, University boat landing, and Chena lakes among other locations. In Alaska, children under the age of 13 are required by law to wear a lifejacket when entering natural bodies of water.

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