Drowning Dangers in Maricopa County
Thousands of pools across Arizona aren’t secure and have little to no protections to keep children from falling in and drowning. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, drowning was the leading cause of death in 2016 in children older than 1 year of age and less than 4.
In that year alone, there were nearly 300 water-related emergencies among young children in Maricopa County. That’s almost one per day. But there are people working to make a difference, including Diana Bowman, an associate professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She has partnered with the head coach of ASU Swim and Dive, the Hubbard Family Swim School, and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to create a public service announcement to educate parents about the dangers of drowning.
Here are some of their tips:
Adult supervision is the most important protection against drowning a child can have, even more than flotation devices and pool fences. Never leave children unsupervised. One suggestion the group made is to designate a “water watcher,” meaning one adult is in charge at all times.
Teach children to swim early. This will help if they accidentally fall into the pool. If they know how to swim to the side and get out, it can prevent drowning.
Rethink pool fencing. Find the best options for your pool and make sure gates are locked and fences are secure at all times.
Remember pools are not the only places children can drown. In fact, very young children can drown in bathtubs, buckets, and even toilets. They can drown in hot tubs and spas, and also lakes and rivers. Make sure you are supervising your child around any type of water.
Only use approved flotation devices, and never assume these can take the place of adult supervision. Children can still drown while wearing flotation devices.
Always wear life vests while in boats. Remember that children can also fall off of docks and while on the shore of lakes and rivers.
If your loved one is injured or killed in a drowning accident in Arizona, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer review your case. Someone else’s actions or carelessness may have caused the accident. In some cases, victims and their families could be awarded a settlement to help pay for the extremely high medical, rehabilitation, or funeral costs associated with drowning.