New numbers show dangerous start to 2021 for drowning incidents in Arizona
PHOENIX – Arizona through March has had a total of 20 drowning incidents reported and is among the top states for fatal child drownings so far in 2021.
A drowning incident means firefighters and first responders were called to an emergency to perform lifesaving measures.
Five of the 20 drowning incidents in Arizona so far this year were fatal, killing two children and three adults.
The state at this same time last year saw 12 incidents, according to a report from the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona.
“We are significantly higher this year and we don’t know why, but we do know that there are still a lot of people who are home,” Lori Schmidt, president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
Schmidt is worried that folks who continue to work from home could face “disjointed supervision”.
She reminds any household with children that water poses a threat anywhere, regardless of if you have a pool or not.
In 2020, 137 drowning incidents occurred in Arizona. 75 of the drownings involved a pediatric, six were over the age of five and five were teenagers. The remaining 51 were adults.
Of the 47 drowning deaths reported last year, 14 were pediatrics.
The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona asks households to remain on high alert as temperatures start to rise and more people will be near swimming pools.
“COVID restrictions are lifting, that means more families are coming together – having pool parties because it’s also very hot,” Schmidt said. “Please make sure that someone is always assigned to be the water watcher.”
To keep your child safe near water, remember the ABCs of drowning prevention: adult supervision, barriers and classes.
KTAR News and Fulton Homes want to remind you that two seconds is too long to take your eyes off kids near water. To learn more about this campaign, visit the website.