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Remember boating safety

With school out and the weather warming up, some Ohio residents may be firing up their boats for weekends spent on the water. It’s a family tradition for many, and one that involves plenty of safety checks and precautionary measures. Parents know everyone should be wearing a life vest, for example. But it turns out there is a danger few consider.

When Doug and Krissy Taylor, of North Canton, lost their 7-year-old son to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2019, it was the first they had heard that such a death could take place on a boat. Doug is a firefighter and a lifelong boater. He thought he was well versed in the precautions to take on a boat. Now, the couple are turning their painful lesson into a chance to help others avoid a similar tragedy.

Youngsters in Doug’s family had been dangling their feet in the water in no wake zones for as long as he could remember, he told another media outlet. He and his wife believed that was what the seats in that part of the boat were for. But safety officials told the pair their son was dead of carbon monoxide poisoning before he ever hit the water when they lost him that day. He did not drown.

In the Taylors’ mid-engine, open boat, going at a slow speed creates a toxic vacuum of carbon monoxide fumes from the exhaust trapped right under the back deck where their son had been sitting. Carbon monoxide affects children’s bodies more quickly than adults.

“The proper way is for everybody to sit in the front of the boat,” Doug told ABC News 5 in Cleveland. “Even the open air boats can be and is very dangerous to small children if you don’t know.”

It is just one of the many safety measures parents must consider when enjoying a day on the water with their kids. As the season ramps up, they must keep this and many other things in mind if a day is to become a happy memory, rather than a painful one.

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