This weekend is expected to be busy at the lakes across Maricopa County and as we get closer to the 4th of July, officials are reminding everyone to prepare for safety.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office will have patrols on site enforcing laws at the lakes — including wearing life jackets.

In Arizona, children under 12 are required to wear a life jacket while on a boat, including anything pulled behind a boat like an inflatable tube.

“They also have to be wearing a life jacket if they’re on a nonpowered watercraft, like a paddleboard, kayak or canoe,” said MCSO deputy Rob Marske.

Deputy Marske said that adults are also required to wear a life jacket when they are on a personal watercraft like a jet ski or being towed behind a watercraft like a wakeboard.

Maricopa County officials are sharing safety tips with those headed to the lakes or trails:

On the lake:

Never swim alone or leave kids unattended near water. Avoid being distracted while watching kids near water. If a child goes missing, always check the water first. Wear a life-jacket. Protect yourself from the sun with sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat. Drink plenty of water.

On the trail:

Never hike alone. Notify someone if you are going hiking in case your cell connectivity fails. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Stay on the trail. Dont touch wildlife.

To plan your visit to one of Maricopa Countys 12 regional parks, visit

Another reminder: Plan ahead as the backup to get inside the parks can go for miles.