Arizona consistently ranks in the top five states nationwide with the most child deaths due to drowning.
In 2017, the state ranked fourth.
Now that summer is officially here and kids are out of school, opportunities for them to be hanging out around a pool are much higher. We've compiled some tips on how to prevent a child from drowning.
Make sure that your kids are prepared to be around a swimming pool, or any large body of water. Swim lessons are essential if your child will be poolside. Additionally, make sure any adult who is supervising your child is trained in bystander CPR.
Know the law: In Arizona it is required that if you have a swimming pool, it must be surrounded by a fence. This barrier must be at least 5 feet tall and it must also have a self-locking gate.
Drowning is a silent death. Every time a child is in or near a pool, an adult's eyes should be on the child. A "water watcher" should be assigned to keep an eye on any children playing in a pool. If you're at a party, switch out adults every hour to give water watchers a break. Always keep a phone nearby to call 911 in case of emergency.
If a child is a weak swimmer, it is recommended that they wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest. "Water wings" or other kinds of flotation devices are not substitutes for swimming skills.
Typically monsoon storms coincide with time by the pool in the summer. If you hear thunder or see lightning, get everyone out of the pool and away from the water.
Not all drownings occur in a pool or other large body of water. A small child can drown in just 2 inches of water, so make sure that any standing water, like in a bucket or kiddie pool, has been drained or emptied.
Drowning deaths are preventable. The key is to having eyes on a child near water at all times.
For more tips and details on preventing a drowning death, visit the Drowning Prevention Foundation's website.