With hot, dry weather in our forecast, more people are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and our waterways.
Swimming in lakes, rivers and ponds is a great way to beat the heat, but if proper safety measures are not in place, swimming can also be dangerous.
Fortunately, drowning is preventable and can be avoided by taking precautions and following some simple safety tips.
- Remember: Washington lakes and rivers are cold enough to cause hypothermia, even in the summer.
- Always check the water conditions prior to swimming, boating or participating in any water recreational activity.
- Weather and water conditions can change quickly. Check weather forecasts and be prepared for adverse conditions.
- When possible, swim where lifeguards are present. Children who are in or near water must be supervised closely by a sober, attentive adult who knows how to rescue someone.
- Stay within designated swimming areas. Because rivers are constantly moving, they can carve new channels, bring trees down into the river and create new drop-offs.
- Know your limits and your abilities; stop before you become too tired.
- Set limits with your children, such as when they can go in the water, where they can go, who needs to be there and what they should have with them.
- Wear a life jacket and make sure it fits correctly. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are required for children 12 or younger while on boats of less than 19 feet.
For more information on water safety and drowning prevention, visit the King County swim safety website.