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Water Safety and Drowning Prevention

[PHOTO - Canal]
[PHOTO - Irrigation Ditch]
[PHOTO - Children in Pool]

Watch Children Around Water!

Valleywide drowning incident statistics for 2009 and other drowning safety tips are available from the Children's Safety Zone web site.

Water Safety

Drowning is the leading cause of death in Arizona for children under the age of five.

Too often, firefighters hear people say, "It was just a few seconds." Unfortunately, just a few seconds is all it takes for a child to drown.

Most of these children drown in their own backyard swimming pool, but others drown in irrigation ditches, canals, buckets, bathtubs, toilets, dog water bowls and ponds. Here within the Salt River Community we have a large exposure to open canals and irrigation ditches.

Small children are top-heavy, and they don't have the upper body strength to lift themselves out of one of these dangerous situations. Even if the child survives the incident, they are often left with permanent brain damage.

Drowning and near drowning can be prevented, and you can help! Anyone involved with the supervision of children needs to be aware of the dangers associated with any body of water. Below are some useful tips to prevent these needless tragedies.

  • Know where your children are at all times!
  • Never allow children to be alone near a pool, irrigation ditch or any water source
  • Post the 9-1-1 number on the phone
  • Learn to swim
  • Learn CPR
  • Always have a "designated child watcher"
  • If you leave the pool area, take the children with you
  • Do not allow children to play around the pool and store all toys outside the pool area
  • Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house
  • Have life-saving devices near the pool, such as a pole/hook, or flotation device
  • Keep large objects such as tables, chairs, toys, and ladders away from pool fences
  • Never swim alone, or while under the influence of alcohol or medications
  • Never swim when thunder or lightning is present
  • Never dive into unfamiliar or shallow bodies of water

Four 'DO NOTs' of Water Safety

  • Do not run to answer the phone.
  • Do not check to see who’s at the door.
  • Do not leave your child to be watched by an older brother or sister.

CPR classes are offered through the Salt River Fire Department: (480) 362-7290