Kids Don't Float


Kids ​Don’t Float  - But Life Vests Do!

Summer is here and the heat is on! Cooling off in Sacramento means heading out to the river and having fun. We know it’s easy to forget how dangerous the river can be, especially for children. Kids Don’t Float but life vests do. Wearing a life vest is the simplest way to stay safe and happy while enjoying the water for many hot days to come.

Get ready for summer fun on the rivers in Sacramento

Each year since 2003, the Kids Don’t Float program has provided more than 2,000 loaner life vests to Sacramento area public water visitors at our many river-access stations. We make sure they are in great condition by inspecting the life vests twice a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They are here to keep you and your kids safe and floating while having big river fun. Just grab one and go.

Bring a life vest for your kids under 13 or just borrow a life vest at any of our life vest borrowing stations before you hit the beach. By having your child wear a life vest, you are ensuring their safety and following local water safety laws.

It’s the Law for kids under 13...

Being a water-safe family is a top priority. There is a Sacramento County ordinance requiring any child under the age of 13 to wear a life vest before accessing any public waters and violation of the ordinance punishes parents with a fine of $500 and/or six months in jail. It’s your responsibility to make sure your child is wearing a life vest.

You can learn more about the mandatory life preserver ordinance for children under the age of 13 in public waterways [SCO 13.08.301 (a)].

Free Loaner Life Vests for kids

There are many loaner life vest borrowing stations along the public waterways in Sacramento County. Simply borrow one for you and your child and return it when you’re done. You may save their life.

Life Vest borrowing stations on the American River Parkway include:

  • Discovery Park (2 sites) (kids and adults)
  • Ancil Hoffman Park (kids only)
  • Howe Avenue river access (kids only)
  • Paradise Beach (kids only)
  • Watt Avenue river access (kids only)
  • River Bend Park (kids only)
  • Sunrise river access (kids only)
  • Life vest borrowing station in the City of Sacramento
    Sand Cove (kids only)

Life vests are also available at Sacramento area fire stations. Each Fire station offers 8 to 12 life vests in kid sizes to loan out.