Black young teen boy on beach with life jacket

Water Safety

Understand the importance of water safety and keeping children safe at home and on lakes and other bodies of water.

The Hard Facts About Drowning

  • Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old.
  • And it’s the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 19 and under.
  • Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathtub or a bucket (Safe Kids)
  • A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceanslakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets. (Red Cross)

Both adults and children can be at risk of downing. Here are some links to tips for water safety.

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Free Water Watcher Card

When children are swimming and there are several adults present, make sure kids are actively supervised at all times by choosing a Water Watcher. A Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to watch the kids in the water without distractions and wear a Water Watcher card. After a certain amount of time (such as 15-minutes), the Water Watcher card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for the active supervision.

Open Water Safety Checklist

These essential tips will help keep kids safe when swimming in lakes, rivers, oceans and other open water.

Most cities offer swimming lessons for kids and adults. Check your city’s park and recreation or aquatics website for information. Ask about financial assistance, if needed. Minneapolis residents who cannot afford instructional fees because of economic need may apply to the Recreation Fee Assistance Program for fee assistance up to $300 through the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Minneapolis parks are home to 75 of the metro area's best beaches, pools and water parks.

Life Jackets Save Lives

Deaths from drowning are preventable tragedies that can affect anyone in, on, or around the water. Wearing a life jacket is a simple life-saving technique. More people need to know when to wear and how to choose a life jacket. Life Jackets Save Lives | Water Safety USA

Life jacket loaner stations are at the following boat launches in Hennepin County (child and adult sizes):

Spring Park Boat Launch

4141 Shoreline Drive

Spring Park, MN 55384

Gray's Bay

17232 Co Rd 101

Wayzata, MN 55391

Lake Minnetonka N. Arm Bay

County Rd 51

Mound, MN 55364

Medicine Lake

12525 42nd N

Plymouth, MN 55441

Lake Independence

2309 Baker Park Rd

Maple Plain, MN 55359

Bryant Lake

6800 Rowland Rd

Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Lake Minnetonka Reg. Park

6900 Hazeltine Blvd

Excelsior, MN 55331

Weaver Lake

8591 Co Rd 101

Maple Grove, MN 55311