Drownings in Arizona Rank Nearly Two Times National Average
Pool Safety – This is a very sad fact to report but a fact that needs to be brought to the attention of those who will be at pools with children over the 4th of July. There is a spike in drownings on this holiday likely due to the fact that adult supervision of pools may be at a minimum for various reasons.
In 2016, the Arizona Department of Health and Safety (ADHS) started reporting incidents using hospitalization data. Previously, data was acquired mainly through the fire department reports. So data results from 2016 and beyond are not comparable to years prior. Here is the link to the most recent Annual Report for the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona published April 26, 2021.
A heartbreaking reality…
In the mid-1980s, drownings for Arizona pre-schoolers ranked highest in the nation. Recently, Arizona has dropped to 4th place for drownings of pre-school-aged children and is the number one cause of death for the ages of 1-4 years.
I live in Yavapai County. In 2020, Yavapai County had 1 incident of the drowning of a child aged 0-4 years old and that number is unacceptable. All age groups equaled 6. In Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, where Phoenix and Scottsdale are located, there were 136 incidents of drowning that were reported for that same age group and a total of 245 incidents for all age groups.
These are reported incidents, not deaths. Each incident is preventable. It should also be noted that Maricopa and Pinal counties are the best at consistently reporting drownings.
Every hour, 42 people drown worldwide…(statistic from ComfyLiving – Blog – “25 Shocking Swimming Pool Stats…”)
A Very Serious Issue Nationwide
Arizona has a vigilant awareness campaign starting in January every year. Even with that campaign, Arizona ranked 4th in the nation in 2017 of the 163 fatal drownings nationwide of children 15 years old and under.
Arizona Ranked Number One For Pools
Arizona is ranked number one in the country for pools per capita at 1 pool for 8,628 people. Florida and Nevada are ranked number 2 and 3 respectively at 1 in 10,367 and 10,814.
Top 10 Cities with Backyard Pools
1. Coral Springs, Florida – 66 percent
2. Scottsdale, Arizona – 62 percent
3. Tempe, Arizona – 46 percent
4. Chandler, Arizona – 40 percent
5. Glendale, Arizona – 37 percent
6. Gilbert, Arizona – 37 percent
7. Clearwater, Florida – 32 percent
8. Clovis, California – 32 percent
9. Mesa, Arizona – 31 percent
10. Plano, Texas – 31 percent
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Top 5 Factors that could increase the risk of a child drowning
* Being new parents of more than one child
* New owners of a pool or a new Arizona resident
* Living at an apartment or condo complex where the pool has minimal fencing
* Multiple children at a gathering
* Underestimating how mobile a child can be
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Why a Spike of Drownings On Independence Day?
Adults need to be aware of where their children are anytime there is a pool available. The party atmosphere coupled with alcoholic beverages and paying more attention to guests’ needs, the BBQ, as well as other games, can hinder the supervision of children around the pool.
Everybody thinks that someone else is watching the kids and pool safety. As we know, drowning can happen in a split second.
A Supervision Plan Is The Key
There is a pretty simple solution for pool safety, having dedicated sober supervision with another sober adult switching every 15 to 20 minutes is the key. Equally important, turn the cell phones off and avoid any other distractions. Of course, this person should be a good swimmer and there should be someone available in earshot distance in case there is an incident.
Recently, we took our 5-year-old grandson to a resort in the Scottsdale area. He is a very new swimmer. This is a very dangerous time for parents and guardians who need to be extra vigilant in watching kids of this age who lack experience. Unfortunately, some may feel that they can take their eyes away from children for a short time because they can swim. Do not get caught up in this belief.
Life Vests For Non-Swimmers
Children who cannot swim or are poor swimmers should be in an approved life vest anytime they are in the proximity of the pool or any water. Floaties are considered a toy. Do not be substitute floaties for a life vest to bypass pool safety. No exceptions to this rule.
Again, following these simple rules could save a child’s life.
Have a Safe and Sane Independence Day!
See another pool video…
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Sheri & Rick Sperry have been part of inground pool ownership since 1962. They have designed their own pool and backyard as well. The picture below is that pool. Designed for family fun, parties, as well as energy efficiency with the technology information at the time of construction in 1998.
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