Young children at greater drowning risk in open water, study finds

May 24, 2018, 4:27 AM
(Flickr/Mingo Hagen)...
(Flickr/Mingo Hagen)
(Flickr/Mingo Hagen)

PHOENIX — As summer rounds the corner, more and more children are going to take to the water in an effort to escape the sweltering Arizona heat.

But with a greater access to bodies of water comes a greater risk of drowning.

A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that 1,000 children drowned in open water in 2016.

The report also found that 38 percent of drownings nationwide occur in a pool. However, it’s much more common in Arizona: The state Department of Health Services found that 44 people died from drowning in 2016, with 22 of those being children less than 4 years old.

“We really want to turn eyes on open water issues particularly as we hit summer and as people are going out on our lakes and rivers,” Lori Schmidt with the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

Schmidt had some tips for families with young children, including watching kids in and around water without distractions, teaching kids how to swim in open water, using a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and learning what to do in an emergency situation.

“Knowing that adults can drown, it is especially important to keep these things in mind with kids,” she said. “Whether they are playing in the sand on the beach or actually out on the boat, they need to have extra protection.”

There are several factors that can increase drowning risks in open water, including water temperature changes. When a swimmer is closer to the shore, they will notice warmer water temperatures. As swimmers approach a drop off, they will notice a dramatic change in temperature, which can be a shock to the body and create an unsafe environment for the swimmer.

“It can be really difficult to judge distances so you want keep kids from going out too far into the water. Not only is it a danger for swimming but you also want to make sure to stay out of the path of boats and jet skies,” said Schmidt.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Ball Corp.)...

Beverage can manufacturer Ball Corp to close Phoenix plant

Metal-container manufacturer Ball Corp. said it is shutting down its aluminum can facility in Phoenix, citing rising costs and decreasing demand.
4 hours ago
(AP Photo, File/Keith Srakocic)...

Maricopa County records its most ballots in primary election history

The results of the 2022 August Primary election in Arizona were posted and a record 866,924 voters cast a ballot in Maricopa County.
4 hours ago
Musician/saxophonist Boney James performs onstage during An Evening of Jazz at Mable House Barnes A...

Arizona Jazz Fest set to hit High Street for 3 days in late October

High Street in Phoenix will be jumping to tunes come late October, when the Arizona Jazz Festival touches down for a three-day party. 
1 day ago
(Unsplash Photo)...

Chandler police seeking suspect who lured, sexually assaulted child

Police are looking for a suspect after a child was lured away from a bus stop by a man driving a golf cart and sexually assaulted.
1 day ago
Antonio Raeann (MCSO Mugshot)...

Glendale woman charged with murder after fatal stabbing of boyfriend

A Glendale woman was arrested on Monday after stabbing her boyfriend multiple times resulting in his death, authorities said.
1 day ago
Follow @Ali_Vetnar...
Sponsored Content by Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Young children at greater drowning risk in open water, study finds