Gregory Heights Elementary School
16201 16th Avenue SW Burien, WA 98166

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Spotlight on Safety: Water Safety and Swimming

Spotlight on Safety: Water Safety and Swimming

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 5-14, according to the CDC

Good weather season is here (or almost!) As you head to pools, lakes and shores to enjoy the sun and quality time, ensure you stay safe. 

Learn to Swim 

Learning to swim is fun and increases safety. Swimming lessons are available at the Mount Rainier Pool and Evergreen Pool, where professionals teach water safety and swimming techniques.

Know the Water and Your Limits

Washington's lakes and rivers can be deceptively cold. Swimmers run the risk of hypothermia even during summer. The safest approach is to swim in designated areas monitored by lifeguards and avoid diving into unknown waters.

Never swim or supervise children near water if you are under the influence.

Life Jackets Save Lives 

Wear a well-fitted life jacket when you are boating, near a river, or swimming in deep water. Check the manufacturer's label to ensure the life jacket fits your size and weight properly. Download the U.S. Coast Guard's How to Choose the Right Life Jacket Guide. You can also take advantage of life jacket loaner programs.

Recognizing Distress in the Water

Do you know how to identify a person struggling in the water? Look for signs like a tilted head, gasping, or flailing arms. Emergencies can happen quickly and silently. If you recognize and give aid to a struggling swimmer, you could save a life!

Throw, Don't Go

If you see someone struggling in water, throw them a life jacket or other buoyant object or reach out with a pole or paddle. Don't jump in the water! A panicked person can easily overwhelm a would-be rescuer.

More Water Safety Resources 

Stay safe and enjoy the water responsibly!