Children between the ages of 1 and 4 in Arizona are drowning at nearly two times the national rate, according to Tiffaney Isaacson, a senior injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The awareness month was established 15 years ago by the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
“The common theme is really parenting,” Isaacson said, noting nothing can replace adult supervision when it comes to a child’s safety near water.
Recently Former Olympic skier Bode Miller, wife came forward to discuss their daughter’s drowning. The couple was substantially devastated by the event and took to social media with an urgent warning to parents to never leave children unattended near swimming pools.
At least 163 fatal drownings of children under the age of 15 occurred during the summer of 2017 across the nation, and Arizona was ranked fourth among states, according to the USA Swimming Foundation. The Drowning Prevention of Coalition of Arizona, which compiles statistics on water-related incidents, reports there were 28 water-related deaths in Maricopa and Pinal counties this year through July 30. While most involved adults, nine were children 5 or under.
In an effort to increase safety in pools and spas, the Pool Safely campaign was created. The campaign was established from the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, and in the past three years the campaign increased their national attention on individuals who are at risk of drowning in a swimming pool accident.
The Pool Safely campaign provides education to parents, caregivers, and pool owners to reduce child drownings, near-drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. The following are simple guidelines to increase safety for children while around a swimming pool or spa.
Provide appropriate supervision to children at all times around pools or spas. Children should never be left alone around water.
Provide water safety instructions to children and share guidelines with caregivers, family, and neighbors. Instruct children to stay away from drains and pipes.
Learn CPR and First Aid for children and adults in order to help in an emergency.
Ensure there is appropriate equipment for pools and spas to increase safety such as fences around the pool at the appropriate height, self-latching gates and drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pool related drowning, please contact law experts at Negrete Law Firm at 602-495-1005.
Credit: AZCentral, Jay Edelstein