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Safe Kids Clark County

Summer Water Safety Tips

Safety spotlight


Wear it right: Choosing and fitting a life jacket








Why should people of all ages wear life jackets?

Drowning is swift, occurring in as little as 30 seconds, and silent. In 2013, there were 103 drownings in Washington state. The highest rates were among 18-19 year olds. Safety is for everyone - and drownings are preventable!

When buying a life jacket check for:

  • Coast Guard approval label.
  • A snug fit. With the life jacket on, raise your arms over your head. Look to the left and right; the chest part of the jacket shouldn't hit the chin.
  • Head support for younger children. A well designed life jacket will support the child's head when the child is in the water.
  • A strap between the legs for younger children will help prevent the life jacket from coming off.
  • Appropriate type of activity and water conditions. Check the label or ask the salesperson for help.
  • Comfort and appearance. This is especially important to teens who may be less likely to want to wear a life jacket.

Guidelines for wearing life jackets.

Even if you or your child knows how to swim, children, teens and adults should always wear a life jacket:

  • When on a boat, raft or inner tube
  • When swimming in open water like a lake, river or the ocean
  • When playing in or near the water and on docks (for young children)
  • When participating in water activities such as skiing, surfing, wind surfing, jet-skiing, etc.

How do you use a life jacket?

  • Every spring, check the life jacket for fit as well as wear and tear. Throw it away if you find air leakage, mildew, rot, or rust.
  • Practice wearing your life jacket in the water. Make sure your jacket works for you as designed.
  • Never substitute toys, such as water wings, or plastic rings, for a life jacket.


Did you know?

  • Most children were being watched by an adult just before they drowned and that drowning is silent?
  • Drowning is the second leading causes of death for children in Washington State.
  • Approximately 400 children age 14 and younger drown each year in pools and spas.
  • Home swimming pools are the most common place for a child younger than age 5 to drown.


Safe Kids Clark County regularly updates its Facebook page with tips for keeping children safe.

More information

Klineline Pond activities

Keep your child safe at home, at play, and on the way!
Accidental injury is the leading cause of death in children 14 and under. Most of these injuries are preventable. Safe Kids Clark County offers education and resources to parents, guardians, educators, and others. Topics include:

The Safe Kids Clark County coalition is a member of Safe Kids USA, a grassroots network of more than 600 coalitions and chapters that work closely with law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, health professionals, educators, businesses, public policy makers, and, most importantly, parents and kids. We are a non-profit organization with 501C(3) status.

For the latest information, Follow us on Facebook.     Safe Kids

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Spanish contact information

(360) 397-8000 ext. 7205

Russian contact information

(360) 397-8000 ext. 7214