Teens jumping into lake water from a diving platform

Teen Water Safety

Teens jumping into lake water from a diving platform

Water safety doesn’t end as your children get older. Teens often underestimate dangerous situations, especially around natural bodies of water. Our vision is to educate and equip parents and teens with water safety tips in order to protect children once they enter adolescence.

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.

teen boy jumping into lake water from a boat
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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.

teen girl wearing water safety goggles swimming in a pool
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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.

For more information about creating layers of protection, please visit our Designate ‘Water Watchers’ page.

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Teach your teen to always enter fresh water 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

boy smiling underwater in a pool
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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

The highest drowning death rate was seen in white male children up to 4 years old, with the second highest rate seen in American Indian and/or Alaskan Native Children up to 4 years old.

a black teen at the beach

30-70% of recreational water deaths among U.S. adolescents occur while drinking alcohol and swimming or boating

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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.


people drown each year

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