CHANDLER, Ariz. - It's been a hot and dangerous few weeks for families across the Valley as many hit the pool to cool off. Already this year, there have been a shocking number of drownings in Arizona. It's something it seems like our community deals with far too often.
Drownings do not discriminate and they take lives every single year across the state. In Maricopa and Pinal counties, there have already been more drowning deaths this year over the same time period last year.
From Jan 1, 2018 to May 31 2018, there have been 19 deaths in the Valley from water-related incidents. That includes children and adults. There have been 52 water incidents total. 35 of those are children and seven of those children drowned. The Children's Safety Zone and local police departments report these stats.
Lori Schmidt, with the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, says by the end of May in 2017, there were four less drowning deaths, but 2016 was the worst compared to 2017 and 2018. In the same time period in 2016, Schmidt says there were 21 deaths by May 31.
Sadly, Schmidt says she sees drowning numbers rise in the summer because families are around water more often. And she adds that open water is probably the biggest danger to adults because they're not wearing life jackets.
There are so many steps you can take to protect your families around the pool. Remember the A, B, C's of pool safety. Those are adult supervision, barriers (fences and locks) and knowing CPR.