Fatal drowning rates for teens and adolescents 15-17 years old are twice the rate of toddlers and infants younger than 5 years old
Research shows that this is a result of overestimating swimming skills, underestimating dangerous water situations, and substance use.
Learning how to perform CPR can save a teen’s life in dangerous water situations
Starting CPR as soon as a person is rescued from the water can save their life. CPR is the most effective strategy to improve outcomes of drowning.
Teens have the second highest fatal drowning rate
Research shows that around 70% of all teen drownings occur in lakes, rivers, or oceans.
Teach your teens to be water watchers
Counseling your teens about water safety best practices is critical to keeping your children and their peers safe during any water activity.
Visit our Designate ‘Water Watchers’ page for more information about creating layers of protection.
Make swimming fun and safe for those you care for
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Teach your teen to always enter freshwater feet first for the first time
This will help them know if there are underwater hazards like large rocks that can’t be seen from the surface.
Boys younger than 15 drown at twice the rate of girls
Life jackets & teens in the water
Even if they know how to swim, your teen should always wear a life jacket when boating or recreating in lakes.
Note: inner tubes and inflatable flotation devices are not appropriate substitutes for life jackets.
Research shows that Black male teens have the 3rd highest drowning death rate
White male children up to 4 years old have the highest drowning death rate, while American Indian and/or Alaskan Native Children up to 4 years old have the 2nd highest rate.
30-70% of recreational water deaths among U.S. adolescents occur while drinking alcohol and swimming or boating
Encourage your teens to help end the national lifeguard shortage
There’s a lifeguard shortage affecting children and parents all over the US.
Encourage your teens to become lifeguards and help end the lifeguard shortage.
For more information on this, please read through our Teens FAQs.
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.