Drowning Prevention & Water Safety
In Oregon, drowning deaths most often occur in warm months. What makes Oregon unique is the frequency of drowning deaths in water bodies fed by snow melt which includes most cold-running rivers found in the state.
In addition, a recent study found that 34% of drowning deaths in Oregon children 15 years of age and younger occurred in swimming pools. Children under 3 years of age are 6 times more likely to drown in a swimming pool.
Safe Kids Oregon promotes the wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs) in non-motorized water craft and for non-boating recreation such as swimming and playing in rivers and lakes and pools, for both children and adults. Safe Kids Oregon also encourages all families to enroll children in swimming lessons. Swim lessons will teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
Active supervision of children in and around water bodies is an extremely important factor in preventing drowning fatalities. Active supervision is defined as constantly keeping eyes on a child, without distractions such as answering the phone, talking, reading a book.
The Water Watcher Card is a tool developed to encourage active supervision whenever children are in or near water. The Water Watcher Card designates who has the responsibility for watching the children. Adults agree to share this responsibility and pass the Water Watcher Card within designated time periods, such as every 15 minutes, to ensure that someone is actively supervising all children in or near water.
Safe Kids Facts and Research
US Army Corps of Engineers Water Safety Scroll down for Life Jacket Loaner Station Information
Community Water Recreation Checklist - designed to help assess water safety within a community (e.g. neighborhood, town, city, district, or county). The check list can help identify existing water recreation safety measures and identify actions to improve water recreation safety in a community.
Swim Area Safety Checklist - designed to help assess water safety at a specific site on a body of water. The Checklist can help identify existing safety measures and actions to improve water safety at the site.
No person shall operate a boat on Oregon waters with a child age 12 and under unless the child is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PDF)/life jacket while the boat is underway.