Being a strong swimmer does not make you drown proof! Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for all ages nationally, and is the SECOND leading cause of accidental death for children. Tragically, drowning continues to be the leading cause of accidental death in State Parks.

  • First, learn to swim and teach your children to swim before heading out to any swimming area. Get professional training, but never rely solely on swimming lessons to protect yourself or a child from drowning.

  • If you are not a strong swimmer, wear a life jacket.

  • Swim near a lifeguard if one is available. (Lake Perris is Swim-at-your-own-risk during the off-season and weekdays).

  • It's recommended that children always wear life jackets when swimming in lakes and rivers.

  • Be sure every child wears a proper fitting life jacket when on the boat or near water. Air-filled swimming aids, such as "water wings" or inner tubes, are not safe substitutes for life jackets. Never rely on a life jacket alone to protect your child.

  • Never leave a child alone in the water, even just to run to the restroom or answer the phone! Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children! Drowning isn't full of yelling and splashing-- drowning is silent, and it only takes a moment for a child to slip silently below the surface.

  • Stay hydrated! Summer heat can lead to dehydration and exhaustion even when swimming. Take frequent breaks, wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol.

  • Never swim alone! Even the most experienced swimmers can get tired or muscle cramps. Having a buddy can save a life.

  • Assess your skills and don't take chances. Know your swimming skills and don't rely on floatation devices. If you don't know how to swim, don't get in the water, even with a raft or other floatation device.