Lakewood, WA — When early summer heat inspires thoughts of swimming, remember that the water in rivers, lakes, and the ocean is extremely cold at this time of year. Cold water increases the chances of hypothermia and drowning. Lakewood Fire District 2 urges people to observe these important guidelines for water safety:
- Know the water! Washington state waters are cold enough to cause hypothermia even on the hottest summer day; hypothermia can weaken even the strongest swimmer.
- Know your limits! Drowning often happens when a person tires while swimming.
- Swim in areas that are lifeguarded.
- Wear a life jacket when swimming anywhere without lifeguards or whenever you boat, jet ski, go tubing, or engage in other water sports.
- Never leave children unsupervised in or near the water, even for a minute. Drownings happen swiftly and silently.
- Ensure that children are wearing life jackets. Inflatable toys and mattresses will not keep children safe. By law, children ages 12 or younger must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or vest on all vessels 18 feet or shorter.
- Always avoid alcohol when swimming or boating.
- Avoid swimming in potentially dangerous areas such as fast flowing rivers or ocean beaches with riptides.
- Don‚Äôt dive into shallow water or unfamiliar swimming holes.
- Cover your spa when not in use. Ponds, five-gallon buckets, and wading pools are also drowning hazards for young children.
If you are in need of a life jacket, visit the Lakewood Fire District 2 booth at this year‚Äôs Summerfest event on Saturday, June 21st at Fort Steilacoom Park. Life jackets are sold for $12 and sizes are available for infants to adults.