many children swimming close to the edge of a pool, also wearing floatation devices


Grade School

many children swimming close to the edge of a pool, also wearing floatation devices

About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. The ZAC Foundation’s vision is to educate and create a generational change in how water safety is viewed by parents, guardians, and the children they love.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 14

a boy playing with a noodle toy in the pool
icon of a foot going into the water

Remind your child to always enter water feet first.

Going feet first will help with understanding the water’s depth and whether there are underwater hazards that aren’t noticeable from the surface.

Children under 15 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at an increased risk of drowning.

Wandering is the most common behavior that leads to drowning, and accounts for 74% of fatal drowning accidents among children with autism.

a boy swimming underwater in a pool wearing glasses
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Designate a water watcher, even with grade-school children and better swimmers.

It is critical to ensure that active supervision by parents or caregivers, and a designated water watcher whose sole responsibility it is to supervise children, is in place during any in-water activity.

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Teach your children to be open and honest about their water safety and swimming skills.

It’s common for grade-school children to feel pressured into overestimating their swimming skills, but encouraging an open, honest dialogue can be lifesaving.

Every year, about 136 children aged 5-9 suffer drowning accidents.

a boy jumping into a natural body of water
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Create more barriers around pools, bathtubs, and natural bodies of water.

Install a regularly inspected fence with a lock and key that goes around your pool, and keep the key out of reach of children. Talk to your children about why these barriers are in place.

For more information about creating layers of protection, please visit our Water Safety page.

Black children between ages 5 and 19 are 5.5 times more likely to drown in a pool than white children of the same age.

a boy learning to swim with an instructor
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Install anti-entrapment drain covers to keep your toddler safe in a pool.

It is critical to ensure that your pool has anti-entrapment drain covers in order to avoid entrapment hazards, which can lead to powerful suction from the water circulation system and can cause your toddler to become trapped underwater.

For more information on this, please see our Drain Safety page.

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Install an alarm to monitor movement around the pool.

It’s best to buy an alarm that beeps if doors or windows to the pool are open, and one that goes off when the surface of the water is disrupted by movement.

Research shows that children younger than 10 years old who drown have most often done so in swimming pools

a girl swimming with goggles in a pool

Pool Safety 101

The ZAC Foundation was established to prepare children and families for a lifetime of water safety. The organization works to strengthen pool safety legislation and fund advocacy, education, and effective programming surrounding water safety. Zachary’s memory is the inspiration for the Foundation’s mission and activities.

We have created a few activity sheets for different age groups so children can reinforce core water safety messages and the ABCDs. While they are based on “The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim,” you don’t need to read the book in order to complete and color these mazes, puzzles, etc.

first page of the ZAC Camp curriculum activity book

people drown each year

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