Every year, Fire District 1 water rescue crews are called to help people who have gotten into trouble in pools, lakes and Puget Sound. It’s only natural - when the sun comes out, Washingtonians like to go to the water.
But water can be hazardous if we don’t follow basic safety precautions.
When you take your family to the water, follow these safety tips from Safe Kids and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Learn to Swim
Basic swimming skills make everyone safer around water. Swim lessons for children are available at many local pools and through private swim clubs. Local lessons:
Supervise Children Near Water
Designate an adult to supervise your child at all times near water. The designated watcher should not be distracted by reading or technology. The watcher should be within close reach of children, who can drown within minutes even in shallow water.
Know Your Limits
No matter how good a swimmer you are, it is easy to misjudge the water or your skills. If you are tired, rest and stay out of the water. Don’t mix swimming and alcohol, which can impair your skills and your judgement. In fact, among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation.
Wear a Life Jacket
We encourage all boaters, adults and children, to wear a life jacket when boating, rafting or innertubing. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of more than 80 percent of boating fatality victims.
Loaner lifejackets for kids to use while swimming are available at several local parks, including Martha Lake. Play toys such as water wings, air mattresses and swim noodles are not safety devices.
Learn more about lifejacket requirements in Washintgon state.