As temperatures rise, so do water dangers

Now that the weather has gotten nicer and the temperatures are warmer, people will be flocking to pools, lakes and boats. But those summer activities are not without their own set of dangers.

Summertime remains a high time for boating accidents and drowning. Public Health of Seattle and King County remind all those engaging in water activities to be safe this summer.

From 2000 to 2004, the Washington Department of Health reported that 521 Washington residents drowned, and 118 of those were children under the age of 17.

In 2003 there were 3,306 unintentional drowning deaths in the United States, an average of nine people per day. In 2005 in Washington, 25 people died in boating accidents and 82 were injured.

Washington state law requires children age 12 and under to wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket or vest in vessels which are less than 19 feet long.

One of the best pieces of advice is to know the water. Washington’s many waterways are very cold due to the snow pack melting, and despite hot summer days, the water can still be cold enough to cause hypothermia.

Here are a few tips from Public Health on staying safe in the water:

• Wear a life jacket.

• Avoid swimming or boating in high, running water.

• Check water conditions before swimming, boating or other water sports.

• Never dive or jump into unfamiliar or shallow water.

• Swim only in designated areas.

Visit for more water safety tips.

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