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Drowning can happen in an instant. Find resources to help protect you and your loved ones.

You smell spring in the air. Maybe, you’ve put on sunglasses and are spending time outdoors.

Summertime is almost here! And for many families, summertime means playing in a pool, lake, or river. While water is fun, it can also be dangerous. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in the U.S. Activities like swimming, boating, fishing, and others all pose a risk.

Before summer gets into full swing, make sure you’re safe. Take steps to protect your family.

The hazards of water

1,000 kids died in the U.S. from drowning in 2016. More than 7,000 went to the emergency room. We can prevent all these accidents.

As summer approaches, make sure you and your children know how to swim, don’t let them swim unsupervised, and take these additional steps to stay safe:

  • Always wear a life jacket on a boat.
  • Don’t jump into water where you don’t know what’s beneath.
  • Avoid play like wrestling, running, or jumping in or near the water.
  • Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you have a pool at your house, put a fence around it.
  • Ensure gates and doors close securely to keep young children out of the pool area.
  • Learn what to do in an emergency.

Some of the steps are simple. Others—like teaching your children how to swim—take more time. Plan ahead. Make sure your days on the water are fun and don’t lead to tragedy.

Community resources help you stay water safe.

The Health Department has many resources to help keep your family safe. We help Pierce County pool, spa, splash pads, wading pools and float tank operators keep their facilities hazard-free with:

We also conduct regular inspections of facilities and checks things like:

  • Barriers.
  • Gates and doors.
  • Emergency equipment.
  • And water quality.

If something is not right, we help the facility make corrections. We also inform you when it’s not safe to swim in Lake Tapps, Spanaway Lake, and other places.

More community resources also help to keep your family water safe:

As spring turns to summer, we hope you get to enjoy the water. Before you grab those shades and beach towels, take a moment to remind yourself and your family how to be safe!