Every year, South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue 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 are offered at:

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 are available for kids at several local swimming beaches. The program is supported by Safe Kids Snohomish County, Snohomish County Parks Department, local fire districts including South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue, and the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

Learn more about lifejacket requirements in Washintgon state.

Don't Risk It 

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death for children 1 – 4 years old. Most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. Babies can drown in bathtubs, toilets, or even buckets of water.

Drowning is also a leading cause of death for teenagers and adults, especially when alcohol is involved.

Drowning is preventable. Follow these Tips from the CDC.