© 2015 The Author 2015. Objective Unintentional drowning is the most common cause of childhood death in rural China. Global intervention efforts offer mixed results regarding the efficacy of educational programs. Methods Using a randomized controlled design, we evaluated a testimonial-based intervention to reduce drowning risk among 280 3rd- and 4th-grade rural Chinese children. Children were randomly assigned to view either testimonials on drowning risk (intervention) or dog-bite risk (control). Safety knowledge and perceived vulnerability were measured by self-report questionnaires, and simulated behaviors in and near water were assessed with a culturally appropriate dollhouse task. Results Children in the intervention group had improved children's safety knowledge and simulated behaviors but not perceived vulnerability compared with controls. Conclusions The testimonial-based intervention's efficacy appears promising, as it improved safety knowledge and simulated risk behaviors with water among rural Chinese children.