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Fatal child drownings in Arizona dropped by 16 percent in 2018

(Facebook Photo/Pool Safely)

PHOENIX – The number of fatal child drownings in Arizona dropped by 16 percent in 2018, but safety officials don’t want parents letting their guard down around water.

“While this decrease is positive news, there’s still more work to be done,” Nikki Fleming, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“Arizona is among the top states for child drownings in 2018.”

After 25 children under 15 died in Arizona pool and spa drownings in 2017, the number fell to 21 last year, according to data compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation from media reports.

Still, only the country’s three most populous states – Florida (44 drownings), Texas (38) and California (24) – had higher numbers.

Nationally, 253 fatal child drownings were reported last year.

“Drowning is still the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4, and that’s nationwide,” Fleming said.

Fleming said her agency’s Pool Safely program aims to remind parents that water safety is a year-round issue.

The national public education campaign offers the following safety tips:

  • Never leave a child unattended around water.
  • Designate a water watcher who won’t be distracted by a cellphone or reading to supervise kids.
  • Learn how to swim and teach your children to swim.
  • Learn how to perform CPR.
  • Keep children away from pool drains.
  • Make sure drain covers comply with federal safety standards.

The program also includes a Pool Safely Pledge to encourage safe practices.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report.

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