Summer Fun By Water


Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a day at the lake or a dip in the pool, you can ensure that swimming and boating are as safe as they are fun by following a few basic safety tips.


The Hard Facts


Drowning can happen at any time of year, but be especially cautious during the summer months, when drowning incidents can increase up to 89 percent.


Oregon waters are cold enough to cause cold water shock – even on the hottest summer day.  Cold water shock can weaken even the strongest swimmer. 


Swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool.  Children and parents need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.


In Oregon from 2009-2011, 20 children ages 0 to 14 years old died from drowning and 30 children were hospitalized.




Top Tips

  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
  • When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision.  Download the Water Watcher card here.
  • Whether you are swimming in the back yard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with a partner, every time. 
  • Educate you children about the dangers of pool drain entanglement and entrapment.  Teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.

More swimming safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide



With almost 100 different kinds of boats – from kayaks to canoes to motorboats – there’s a good chance most of us will be having a great time on the water at some point.  So when you do, please remember these simple safety tips for the entire family.


Top Tips

  • Always have children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.  Set an example - everyone should wear a life jacket.
  • Make sure the life jacket fits snugly.  Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using other substances when boating, swimming or doing other water-oriented sports.
  • Infants and young kids are at higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm.  If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.

More boating safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide


Safe Kids Oregon works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under.  Safe Kids Oregon is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury.  Safe Kids Oregon was founded in 1995 and is led by Oregon Health Division, Office of Prevention and Health Promotion.  For more information, visit Injury Areas.

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