The Dangers of Spring Flooding

During springtime, flooding, thin ice and rushing waters can lead to tragedy. But there are ways to keep kids safe from spring water runoff and rains.

Every year we hear of someone who has drowned in the rushing waters of a creek or river, and often that someone is a child. In the spring, with extra rain and melting snow, rivers and creeks can be particularly hazardous. Even neighborhood creeks that 98% of the time may seem relatively safe, can suddenly turn treacherous.

As parents we must warn our children about these creeks and rivers. Because for most of the year they appear to be pretty benign, kids may think they’re safe and something they don’t have to ever worry about. Unfortunately, for maybe two or three days of the year, heavy rainstorms or melting snow can cause them to flood quickly, creating a dangerous flash flood situation. It’s for this reason that Ken Burton with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police says spring can pose some hazardous circumstances. “Moving water presents a very dangerous situation. One cubic foot of water weighs 62 pounds. When it’s moving, it presents a lot of force. My best advice is to stay clear of it, stay well back of it.”

Simply standing on the bank watching the rushing currents can be risky as the banks of creeks and rivers can be undercut by the water and give in under the weight of the child, explains Burton. “There’s always a chance of a bank collapsing so stay back from it. View it from a safe distance, or wait for the news that night and view it from the safety of your living room.”

And if you live in an area where spring time means thin ice, warn your children to stay clear of any frozen body of water. “All too often at this time of year, people will venture on the ice, and fall through. At this time of year, stay clear. You’re never sure how deep it is and it’s extremely dangerous,” says Burton.

Teaching our children a little respect for the power of Mother Nature is a lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives, and it could prevent a terrible tragedy from ever occurring.

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Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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