Washington State Drowning Prevention Community Level Indicators

Community Organization

Existence of a drowning prevention coalition or drowning is a significant focus of a health or injury prevention coalition with a broader agenda

  • Coalition has objectives, messages and activities specific to adolescent drowning prevention
  • Youth groups have a focus on adolescent drowning risk and prevention
  • Number of adolescents involved in planning and implementing coalition-related activities
  • Number of parent representatives involved in planning and implementing coalition-related activities
  • Number of adolescent life guards involved in coalition-related activities
  • Number and type of organizations with specific activities/focus on adolescent drowning risk and prevention including life vest use and activities specific to Hispanic families
  • Number of health professionals trained in adolescent drowning risk and prevention
  • Additional funds or in kind support received for adolescent drowning prevention

Tracking and dissemination of drowning data on a city, county, region and /or statewide basis

  • Adolescent drowning is tracked and information shared with coalition members, law enforcement, media, etc.

Behavioral Outcomes

Coordinated community programs in place based on theory and research with measurable objectives

  • Objectives and activities specifically address what is known about adolescent risk taking, drowning risk issues and uses theories and models known to be effective with this population

Observational studies of life vest use

  • Includes observations of teens and adults

Sales data on life vests purchased for children and adults

  • Track life vest sales/promotions specific to adolescents


Number of health professionals using drowning prevention materials

  • Use of materials specific to adolescent drowning risks

Percentage of health care providers advising on risk reduction around water

  • Anticipatory guidance provided to pre-adolescents and adolescents

Inclusion of drowning prevention/water safety on managed care prevention agendas and/or patient wellness/prevention surveys

  • Questions about life vest use and drowning risk on adolescent health assessment questionnaires

Up to date and available education materials targeted for the region and specific groups at risk

  • Availability of and dissemination of materials specific to adolescents

Materials translated or made culturally appropriate as needed

  • Materials specific to adolescents adapted and/ or translated into Spanish

Percent of swim lessons that incorporate training about open water hazards

  • Number of Swim lessons for pre-adolescents or adolescents

Percent of schools using boating or water safety curricula

  • Number of school programs reaching pre-adolescents and adolescents and/or specifically addressing adolescent related risk issues

Number of retail displays with drowning prevention information

  • Retail displays specific to adolescents
  • Adolescent involvement in promotion of the use of stylish life vests

Percent of public boat ramps with signage encouraging life jacket use

  • Signage is inclusive of adolescents


Media identifies if drowning victims were wearing life jackets

  • Media on adolescent drowning reflects this

Number of media reports on drowning with a prevention message included

  • Media on adolescent drowning includes prevention info specific to this group

Number of drowning prevention or water hazard related articles

  • Specific to adolescents

Pictures in the paper, magazines, billboards and on tv show consistent use of life jackets by adults in boats or children in boats or around open water

  • Shows adolescents in life vests
  • Awards for media efforts targeting teens

Environmental Change

Discount program for purchase of life jackets

  • Discount program for life jackets for teens

Number of life jacket loan programs at beaches, marinas, public pools, sheriff marine patrols

  • Number of programs with life jackets that fit adolescents for loan and for sale at community sites

Number of boat rental sites with comfortable, attractive life vests in a wide range of sizes

  • Specific to adolescents

Available and well publicized boating safety classes

  • Designed for pre-adolescents and adolescents

Available and well publicized CPR classes

  • Designed for pre-adolescents and adolescents

Number of fishing docks that are fenced

  • Not relevant to adolescents

Number of agencies in community that sponsor boating safety or water safety events

  • Designed for pre-adolescents and adolescents
  • Swimming classes offered specifically for teens

Assessment/screening conducted at high risk water use sites

  • Assessment of and action plan for sites that are high risk for adolescents

Number of health and emergency service professionals trained in drowning prevention

  • Specific to adolescent drowning risk and prevention

Policy and Regulation

Fencing regulations for private pools

  • Rules require adolescents not swim alone

Fencing regulations in place for apartment and condominium pools and hot tubs

  • Rules require adolescents not swim alone

Life vest laws on a county and/or state basis requiring children at least 9 years and under to wear life vests in boats at least up to 18 feet in length

  • No different for adolescent focus

Enforcement of boating safety laws is rigorous.

  • Particularly for alcohol related enforcement

Life jackets allowed in public pools

  • Non swimming teens or teens with seizures or other medical conditions allowed to wear life vests in pools

Life jacket use consistently incorporated into swim lessons

  • No different for adolescents

Number of schools that require boating and/or water safety instruction

  • Specific to pre-adolescents and adolescents

Number of yacht clubs or marinas that require children to wear life vests on docks

  • Up to 12 years of age