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High water at the Mark Twain Lake causes dangerous conditions for swimmers and boaters as the summer season begins.

Summer is fast approaching and with hot summer weather comes the cool relief with the activity of swimming. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Mark Twain Lake announced the John F. Spalding and Indian Creek Beaches will be closed until further notice due to high water, on Tuesday, May 28.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Mark Twain Lake also announced, due to high water levels the lake has an excess amount of debris. This can create hazards on the lake as well as make some areas difficult to maneuver. This debris can also fluctuate and move throughout the day with wind patterns.

Clarence Cannon Dam will also be near or at maximum release, utilizing tainter gates to release water, please take extra caution to stay away from the Dam. We ask that you stay aware while on the lake, avoid areas you may see with large amounts of debris, and wear a life jacket while on the water.

These closures are due to elevated lake levels; which, can create unseen underwater hazards that compromise the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Mission to provide safe outdoor recreational opportunities and the ability to have a wonderful, safe, and fun outdoor experience. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We greatly appreciate your patience and cooperation during elevated water conditions. The areas will re-open when conditions allow.”

The Mark Twain Lake beaches do not have life guards available for those who come to enjoy the water.

The American Red Cross encourages visitors planning to swim should take precautions and remember that water can be dangerous. It is important to swim in designated areas only and never swim alone.

Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. And most drownings happen in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24.

The good news is there are many ways to keep kids safe in the water and make sure that the right precautions are taken when a child is swimming on their own. Young children are especially at risk and can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Which means drowning can happen where least expected. Always watch children closely when in or near any water.

Don’t assume that a child who knows how to swim is not at risk for drowning. Supervision in the water, no matter what a child’s swimming skills are, should be taken. And infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm’s reach to provide “touch supervision.”

Proper-fitting, approved flotation devices (life vests) are available to keep children safe and have kids wear them whenever near water. Check the weight and size recommendations on the label, then have the child try it on to make sure it fits snugly. For children younger than 5 years old, choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support, the collar will keep the child’s head up and face out of the water. Inflatable vests and arm devices such as water wings are not proven to be effective protection against drowning.

People should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to prevent dehydration. Dehydration happens easily in the sun, especially when children are active and sweating. Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, or nausea are just a few of the signs of dehydration and overheating.

Water temperature is important, too. Enter the water slowly and make sure it feels comfortable for anyone getting in. Everyone’s body reacts to the water differently.  A temperature below 70°F is cold to most swimmers. Recommended water temperatures vary depending on the activity and a swimmer’s age, as well as for pregnant women. But in general, 82°-86°F (28°-30°C) is comfortable for recreational swimming.

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