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Safety expert: Adults should keep an eye on all kids around pools

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PHOENIX — August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month, a time for everyone to be aware by watching kids around pools during hot summer days.

Lori Schmidt of the Scottsdale Fire Department and the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona said all kids need to be watched, not just young ones.

“This is one of those things where we really want to make sure everybody knows how to swim,” she said. “We have it in our minds that if someone is over the age of 7 they just assume that they know how to swim, and that is not always the case.”

On Tuesday, a 14-year-old boy drowned in the pool at Phoenix apartment complex.

According to statistics compiled by ABC15, there had been 12 drowning deaths in Phoenix-area pools this year as of Wednesday.

Schmidt said preventing a child from drowning consists of a multi-layered approach, starting with active adult supervision.

“You’ve got to watch the kids,” she said. “You can’t be distracted by your Facebook. Don’t be cooking, don’t be doing yardwork.

“Actually be that role of making sure everybody is safe in the water.”

And although pool fences may not be pretty, and the kids may be grown and gone, Schmidt said pool barriers should always be kept in place.

“When we don’t expect the kids to be in the water, we need to make sure we make it difficult for them to get to that water,” she said.


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