Drowning Prevention and Water Safety

Parent helping child with life jacketOver 860 children and teens die every year in the U.S. from drowning. In Washington state, an average of 17 children and teens drown every year. Most of them are swimming, boating or just playing in or near water.

The Washington State Drowning Prevention Network and Seattle Children’s work together to provide you with information and resources on water safety and drowning prevention. We can prevent drownings if we all do our part!


Know the Water

Know Your Limits

  • Swim Classes and Water Safety (American Red Cross) – Find swim classes in your area.
  • Water Rescues: Stay Safe While Preventing a Drowning – What to do if you think someone is drowning but you are not a certified lifeguard or emergency worker.
  • Rip Current Safety (National Weather Service) – Guidelines to help you avoid getting caught in a rip current.
  • Open Water Guidelines – Drowning in open water, such as lakes, rivers and the ocean, is a major concern around the world. An 18-member international task force from 12 countries developed these guidelines for people visiting open water sites.

Wear a Life Jacket

  • Washington State Life Jacket Loaner Station Locations – Information on where you can borrow life jackets for free in Washington state. A partnership between Seattle Children’s, Washington State Parks and Recreation Boating Program, the Department of Health and Safe Kids. See the map below for locations. Is there a Washington state life jacket loaner station that isn't included here? Let us know.

Learn More

Contact Us

Email us to get help starting a drowning prevention campaign in your community or learn more about the Washington State Drowning Prevention Network.

Support Our Work

Support Seattle Children’s water safety education and programs to increase access to life jackets. Designate your donation to “water safety.” Donate now.