Drowning happens quickly and quietly in a matter of minutes.   It happens in all kinds of places – bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets – anything with water.  So far this year in Arizona, 27 people have died including 6 children.  Last year that number was sixty – 20 were children. 

August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month.  For the rest of the country and part of Arizona, pool time is over for the summer, but not in the hot parts of our state.  Nor is it over for small children who see the shimmery water as an invitation no matter what the temperature is.  Drowning is often called a silent killer – because it happens quietly as a person slips under the water and stops breathing.

Fortunately, drowning is preventable by following a few simple safety tips:  actively supervise children whenever they are around any body of water, including pools, spas, bathtubs or open water; assign a designated water watcher who actively supervises the children and is not distracted by texting, reading, drinking alcohol, or socializing; enroll your children in swim lessons; learn CPR; and keep a phone near the water at all times to call 9-1-1 if something happens.

The state’s Drowning Prevention Coalition put together a video so you can hear it from the kids themselves.

The Departments of Economic Security and Health Services are working together to raise awareness of drowning prevention.  I invite you to view a similar blog piece by my agency counterpart, Director Clarence Carter.