Life jackets protect swimmers and boaters in, on or near the water. Even skilled swimmers and boaters sometimes find themselves in unexpected situations, such as a rapid change in the depth of open water or being thrown from a boat into the water after a collision. Unfortunately, many people do not wear life jackets. In 2009, at least 90% of boating-relating drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket, according to the United States Coast Guard.
Learn more about local, national and international life jacket policies and policy initiatives:
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children and youth in Washington state. Eighty-five percent of these drownings occur in open water, such as lakes and rivers. Policies are an important way to improve open water safety and prevent drowning.
The Washington State Child and Youth Open Water Drowning Prevention Policy Task Force, Washington State Drowning Prevention Network and child injury and water safety experts identified short-term and long-term policy strategies to reduce open water drowning in Washington state.
These checklists are designed to help individuals, organizations and communities identify gaps in water safety and policy and program changes to fix the gaps.
Drowning in open water is a major concern around the world. An 18-member international task force from 12 countries has developed a set of guidelines for families and individuals recreating at any open-water site.
Most drownings among children ages 1 to 4 in the United States occur in residential swimming pools. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most children were last seen at home, had been out of sight for less than 5 minutes and were in the care of 1 or more caregivers at the time.
In This Issue: Fall 2016
Download Fall 2016 (PDF)
Dynamic duo strive to stop drowning deaths through research, outreach and advocacy.