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Drowning risk remains constant, despite cooling weather

PHOENIX — Just because people might not be using pools as much now that it is nearly winter, doesn’t mean the risk of drowning this time of year is any less.

Water safety expert Mike Espino with YMCA said drowning risks are present year-round.

“We like to think of this a summer-seasonal issue, but drowning prevention is a year-round issue,” Espino said.

In only the last two months, Espino said three children have drowned in Arizona. Nationwide, Espino said drowning remains the number one cause of accidental deaths among young children.

“Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death of children between ages one and four in the United States, and when you look at ages one to 14, it’s the second leading cause of death in the United States,” he said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there have been nearly 300 children younger than five years old who drowned this year. Twenty-two of those were in Arizona, according to Espino.

He said teaching kids to swim is an important skill that can help save lives; he also urges parents and kids to take the “Pool Safely Pledge.”

“Some of those steps include for parents, never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa,” Espino said. “Also, designate a water watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa.”