The Sacramento region’s current run of unseasonably warm weather has prompted the American River Parkway Foundation to launch its Kids Don’t Float life vest program two months early.
The foundation announced that it began providing life vest stations at several locations along the parkway Monday.
The Kids Don’t Float program allows individuals to borrow a life jacket while enjoying the Sacramento area’s waterways. In 2008, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance requiring life preservers to access public waters within the county. The ordinance specifies that it is unlawful for parents to permit children younger than 13 years old to enter public waters unless the child is wearing a life preserver. Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months in jail.
The life vest stations will be resupplied and inspected twice a week through Labor Day by the Drowning Accident Rescue Team, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and Sacramento County park rangers, according to an American River Parkway Foundation news release. Station locations include two sites at Discovery Park, Ancil Hoffman Park, Howe Avenue river access, Watt Avenue river access, Paradise Beach, River Bend Park and Sunrise river access. Each station offers 20 life vests in various children’s sizes.
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“There are going to be a lot of people heading to the river in the coming weeks and, with the current conditions, practicing water safety rules and wearing life vests will be even more critical in preventing drowning accidents,” Dianna Poggetto, the foundation’s executive director, said in a written statement.
The foundation will spend $10,000 to purchase new life vests, she said.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.