RICHLAND COUNTY-- For those looking to relax on the water this holiday weekend, officials want you to think safety, especially when it comes to children.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department is teaming up with the Department of Natural Resources to raise awareness about the most important item on a boat, a life jacket.
"Tragically every year we hear about someone that drowned. If they just had their life jacket on, we could have saved their lives," says Sheriff Leon Lott.
Lott stresses that it's not up to kids to put on the vests. It's the parent's job.
"Parents are the role models," he says.
Officials say kids should also have life jackets on at all times.
Colonel Alvin Taylor says, "If something happens and you're thrown overboard, you don't have time to look for that life jacket."
Officials say all life vests need to fit properly to work. Make sure they're not too snug. To check the fit, parents can pick up their child by the shoulders.