The Minnesota State Fair and the Labor Day holiday are reminders that the end of summer is near. This inspires many people to enjoy water recreation during the final days of the season. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to remain vigilant about safety precautions when enjoying lakes, rivers, and swimming pools.
For children ages 14 and younger, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death. Review safety rules with your family members. Parents need to maintain visual contact with their children who are in the water -- or near the water.
If a child is missing, please check any nearby area of water first. Drowning or serious brain injury happens quickly – often in a matter of minutes. If anyone fails to re-surface from the water or any person is struggling in the water – please call 911 immediately.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responds to and investigates all water-related incidents and emergencies throughout the county. Keeping people safe and educating boaters and swimmers are priorities for the Sheriff’s Office.
Safety reminders for swimming:
WATCH – your kids
* In 70% of cases where young children drowned, one or both parents were nearby. Being nearby isn’t enough. Parents must avoid distractions such as using cell phones or talking with other adults.
* Parent supervision is needed even when there are lifeguards on duty.
WEAR – a life jacket
* Weak swimmers or non-swimmers may wear life jackets in swimming pools and any body of water. Adult supervision is still needed.
* Do not rely on water wings or other inflatable devices.
LEARN -- to swim & learn about safety
* Learn to swim. Kids and adults must know how to swim in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
* Learn about safety equipment – keep a shepherd’s hook near a pool. Hand the hook to the struggling person so they can be pulled to safety. Remember that a struggling person may put a rescuer at risk by pulling them down into the water.
* Learn about safety precautions for residential and backyard kiddie pools.
* Learn about safety precautions with backyard kiddie pools. (One child drowns every five days in portable pools.)
Editor's Note: The information above was provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.