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Water safety tips as temperatures heat up

Jumping right back into rivers and lakes could be dangerous.

With summer temperatures ramping up, it will be tempting to jump back into pools, rivers and lakes, but those can also be dangerous.

More than 3,000 people die each year from drowning in the U.S., according to the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority. One in five people who die from drowning are children 14 years old or younger.

While the air temperature may be warm, the water temperature in rivers and lakes will still be much colder.

Here are some tips to abide by.

General Water Safety:

• Supervise children at ALL TIMES.

• Take swimming lessons and never exceed your abilities.

• Go to bodies of water that you are familiar with.

• Always wear a well-fitting Coast Guard approved life jacket when near or in water.

• Remember that boating/swimming and alcohol are a dangerous combination.

• Always swim with a buddy.

• Notify others of your plans to be on the water and a return time.

• Take a cell phone with you.

Rivers:

• Wear the appropriate equipment. In addition to a life jacket, consider a helmet and foot covering.

• Use a professional rafting company.

• Avoid cheap/inexpensive rafts that can be easily damaged by branches and stumps exposed on the river.

• Know that river water temperatures are typically in the low 50s.

Lakes:

• Obey boating laws and rules for the particular lake you are on.

• Watch for swimmers, those fishing, and other boats/watercraft.

• Know ahead of time about any underwater obstructions such as tree roots or branches.

• Swim at lakes that have life guards.

Pools:

• Swim at pools with life guards.

• Floating or inflatable toys are not a safe substitute for a life jacket.