Whether you plan to swim at a pool, the beach, or a lake or river, know how to stay safe in the water.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S., and many of these victims are children under the age of 15. Review some tips to help you and your family stay safe in the water.
Find additional information about water safety:
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) rated 200 popular beaches across the United States on a 5 star scale. Criteria for the NRDC’s rating scale include testing the water weekly, notifying the public promptly when tests reveal unsafe bacteria levels, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach.
Beaches that achieved 5 stars had exceptionally low violation rates and strong testing and safety practices. Of the 200 beaches, only 13 were given the highest possible rating of 5 stars.
Visit NRDC to see the full ratings report and to search for beaches near you.
Make sure you have bottled water on hand for an emergency, and know how to make water safe to drink if you run out.
Image description: In October, 35 students from Center High School, volunteers from the Blue River Watershed Association, and Environmental Protection Agency scientists monitored water quality and picked up trash at Indian Creek in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Toni Castro, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Sign up to receive alerts when water in rivers or streams near you is rising to dangerous levels.
From the U.S. Geological Survey:
To sign up go to WaterAlert and select a specific site. Then select the preferred delivery method (email or text), whether you want hourly or daily notifications about river data, and the specific water levels at which you want to be notified.