ARIZONA NEWS

ASU launches water safety education program to reduce child drownings

Jun 1, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 1:26 pm
(Pixabay photo)...
(Pixabay photo)
(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — Pediatricians and other doctors in Arizona will now have water safety educational materials they can provide during well-child visits for young children thanks to a new program.

Arizona State University launched the program last month in partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Care Network. It’s meant to help prevent water-related injury and deaths in children 1 to 4 years old.

ASU Professor Diana Bowman, who’s leading the initiative on behalf of ASU, noted drowning is the leading nonmedical cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in the United States, with Arizona having the second highest drowning rate in the country.

“This is despite amazing efforts by people here in Arizona,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “But it has been a problem, a public health challenge, that we haven’t been able to adequately address to get those numbers down.”

She hopes the new program will help.

Providers in the Phoenix Children’s Care Network will be given an evidence-based education package focused on drowning prevention that’s tailored to a patient’s age and developmental stage.

“We don’t really talk about water safety until we have a tragedy,” Bowman said. “And this partnership is actually really proactive to have families be aware of the risk but not in a way that it scares them from having pools and engaging in swimming.”

She said the educational materials will also include recommendations for swim lessons, pool fencing and constant supervision of toddlers regardless of swimming ability.

There’s also guidance on flotation devices and life jackets. Bowman pointed out that while flotation devices are fun toys in the pool, they’re not a water safety device.

“If you’re looking to have something for your child in terms of putting them in the pool, a Coast Guard-approved life jacket is really what you should be focused on.”

Michael Phelps, who’s the most decorated Olympian in history, said in a statement the statistics surrounding accidental drowning “are alarming.” It’s one of the reasons why he said he started the foundation.

“We want to be proactive in raising awareness and providing educational resources to families,” Phelps stated. “As parents with three young boys and a pool at home, my wife, Nicole, and I want to encourage all families to incorporate water safety as part of their wellness development and/or routine.”

Bowman said she hopes having the Michael Phelps Foundation as a partner will help raise awareness about the program and eventually expand it to other states.

“Our whole goal is trying to prevent families suffering the trauma of a fatal or near-fatal drowning event, and so making this something that goes beyond our community is really important to us,” she said.

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

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photos)...
KTAR.com

2 California men jailed after Arizona troopers find 130 pounds of meth in car

Two California men were jailed after state troopers seized 130 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop in northern Arizona last week, authorities said.
14 hours ago
(Arizona State Parks and Trails Photo)...
Associated Press

Hiker dies after falling hundreds of feet in Superstition Mountains

A hiker camping on a peak in the Superstition Mountains east of metro Phoenix was found dead after apparently slipping while taking a photo and falling hundreds of feet, authorities said.
14 hours ago
(AP Photo/Susan Haigh, File)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona passes $1 billion in total event wagering in third month of operation

It took Arizona just three months to clear $1 billion in total event wagering, according to a report released Tuesday from the state's gaming department.
14 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Jim Cross

Arizona’s nation-leading home prices should slow down in 2023, economist says

Even though Arizona has topped the nation in home prices for 30 straight months, there are signs of relief, a Valley economist said.
14 hours ago
Empty shelves were found at a Kroger grocery store on March 13, 2020, in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Some...
KTAR.com

Arizona’s COVID-19 pandemic began with single case 2 years ago Wednesday

Two years ago Wednesday, Arizona reported its first confirmed case of what is now known as COVID-19.
14 hours ago
A group of people from Haiti stand at a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall after having traveled fr...
Kevin Stone

Border Patrol union leader says morale ‘in the tank’ after trying year

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said agent morale is “in the tank” after a year in which the number of migrant encounters soared.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
PNC BANK

How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
ASU launches water safety education program to reduce child drownings