Bloomington police create PSA to warn parents of drowning dangers

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At Bloomington City Hall, the audience is in place for a special showing. But this is no ordinary premiere party, it’s the debut of a mini-movie with a message.

"I didn't really realize the importance of watching your kids when they swim,” said Rachel Storlie, a parent. “When they get to a certain age you think, ‘Oh they're out there, they'll be fine.’"

Bloomington police say their city has at least one deadly drowning and 10 near drownings a year and those numbers are on the rise. They decided to create their own public service announcement to remind parents how important it is to put down everything else and watch their kids when they're in the water.

"Similar to distracted driving, we want people to not be texting, not be looking at magazines or having in-depth conversations with other people,” said Bloomington Police Commander Jeff Thibert. “We want people to pay attention to watching kids swim."

RELATED: Drowning is silent

The nearly minute-long video shows several scenarios where parents are distracted while their children swim nearby. In addition to English, the PSA is in Spanish and Somali to appeal to the city's largest minority populations.

"The parents were never really taught to swim wherever they are from - not something that is important to them,” said Commander Thibert. “They don't understand the necessity of getting swimming lessons for kids, but also the necessity of paying attention to the kids when they are swimming in various pools or water."

Storlie and her daughters volunteered to be in the video. She hopes parents see themselves in the PSA and remember to keep their eyes on the prize.

"So when they are out at a beach or the lake the pool they are thinking, ‘I remember watching that and I need to be paying attention to my kids,’" said Storlie.

To view the full PSA, click here.