Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
Over 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
- Water Recreation Safety in Washington (Washington State Department of Health) – Information on beach advisories, lake, river, and beach water safety, pool safety, recreational water illness and regulated water recreation facilities.
- 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.
Know Your Limits
Water Safety Tips for Families - Basic guidelines every family can follow to enjoy the water safely.
Water Safety for Children Birth to 5 Years - Discusses drowning prevention at home, in the yard, and in and near the water.
Water Safety for Teens 12 to 18 Years Old - Discusses alcohol and drugs, swimming and diving, babysitting, and boating.
Water Safety for Children With Seizures - Drowning prevention tips for children with seizures and epilepsy at home and around the water.
Water Safety for Families With Children with Special Needs (video) (Safe Kids) - Discusses adaptive life jackets, staying within an arm’s reach of your child near any water, explaining water safety to your child and other topics.
- Swim Classes and Water Safety (American Red Cross) – Find swim classes in your area.
Wear a Life Jacket
- Life Jackets for Children and Teens - Learn when you and your child should wear life jackets, why they are important and how to buy life jackets that fit correctly.
- Life jacket fittings and giveaway events - In partnership with Panda Cares and thanks to Panda Express fundraising efforts, Seattle Children’s provides free life jackets for children between the ages of 1 and 18. We teach parents and kids how to properly fit every life jacket we give away.
- Life jacket coupon in partnership with Big 5 - Take this coupon to a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Washington for one-time purchase on in-stock life jackets.
- Life Jackets Tips and Laws (Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office) – Tips on choosing the right life jacket and what the law says about wearing life jackets.
- 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 life jacket loaner station locations. Is there a Washington state life jacket loaner station that isn't included here? Let us know.
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.