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Phoenix Children's training pediatricians to help prevent drowning deaths

The announcement comes on the heels of a devastating week filled with several drowning and near-drowning calls.

PHOENIX — Phoenix Children's and SRP are teaming up in an effort to help educate parents on water safety with the goal of preventing drownings.

According to PCH, children in Arizona ages 1 to 4 are drowning at nearly double the national rate.

“We’ve had far too many," said Tiffaney Isaacson, an injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children's.

The goal is to teach pediatricians a curriculum based on water safety with a focus on educating parents on drowning prevention. Pediatricians will then make water safety a part of well-child visits, speaking directly to parents and family members during the routine health checkups. 

The initiative is funded by SRP, the Valley's largest provider of water.

“So far there are about 50 pediatricians that are trained to do so," said Kathleen Mascarenas, a spokesperson for SRP.

RELATED: Water safety resources in the Valley

At least four drowning calls in three days

The media briefing about the initiative comes on the heels of a devastating week of drowning calls.

On Saturday morning, a three-year-old boy in Chandler was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after a near-drowning.

On Friday night around 5:30 p.m., a 16-month-old boy was pulled from a pool at a home near 51st Avenue and Bell Road. He was rushed to the hospital but later died from his injuries.

Earlier Friday, a three-year-old boy nearly drowned at a Holiday Inn near 44th Street and McDowell Road. Thankfully, he was awake and breathing before being taken to the hospital, according to officials.

On Thursday night in El Mirage, a babysitter was arrested after a one-year-old boy she was watching nearly drowned in a bathtub. Officials say the babysitter left the bathroom to go take care of another child. She then allegedly got distracted and left the one-year-old unattended.

“The number one way to prevent a child drowning is constant capable supervision," Isaacson said. “It’s always important to remember that children in this age group can forget what to do and they can panic in the water so teach your kids to swim when they’re ready and make sure you have good CPR skills. Keep your CPR skills fresh. I hope you never need them."

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