Water safety is critically important year-round in the Phoenix area because bodies of water – primarily swimming pools – are so prevalent. With a large number of homes boasting private pools, cities and townships with their own public pools, and swimming and aquatic centers dotting the Valley, adults and children alike have access to water at any time during the year.
Swimming can be an excellent way to combat the sweltering heat of the desert in the summertime and can provide endless entertainment for children while they are out of school. Yet every year, tragedy occurs when a child is critically injured or when a child drowns while swimming. In many cases, the child involved should never have been in the water in the first place.
To raise awareness of the serious risks faced when children and water mix without proper supervision, the Phoenix Fire Department has initiated a new campaign called S.O.S. Save Our Summer. When it comes to water safety, the Phoenix Fire Department gives the following five recommendations:
1. All non-swimmers wear life jackets around water.
2. The best defense is to know how to swim!
Take swimming lessons!
3. Everyone’s at risk, supervise at all times.
4. STOP! Barricade the water!
5. Learn CPR
Each one of these recommendations should be considered and analyzed in detail to provide the safest water-related environment possible.
First, many children and many adults in the Phoenix area are not skilled swimmers or are otherwise uncomfortable around water. This is especially true of very young children. If you will be participating in an event that involves a swimming pool or other water source, make sure life jackets are available for those who need them. Remember that inflatable pool toys are not lifesaving devices and should not be relied upon in place of a life jacket.
Swimming lessons are available to people of all ages in Phoenix and some groups provide them for reduced costs or for free to those in need. Consider taking swimming lessons yourself or enrolling your children so that everyone will be prepared should they enter the water. Even if you do not have a pool, swimming lessons can save a person’s life if that individual accidentally falls into water.
No one – regardless of age – should swim in a pool alone. Even adults can encounter danger and may need help from time to time so practice the buddy system when swimming. Children should always be supervised when they are in or around water and the adults who are supervising should not be distracted by cell phones, a book, or other objects. Adult eyes should be on the children swimming constantly and an adult should never leave the pool area when children are near the water.
In most parts of the Valley, local laws and regulations set out the requirements for fencing around a pool. Always make sure your fence meets those requirements if you have a pool and make sure the fence is properly maintained. Gates should latch on their own and should never be propped open. Further, make sure children cannot enter the restricted pool area without assistance from an adult.
Finally, it is important to know CPR and a good idea to take a refresher course if you were previously certified. National guidelines regarding CPR have changed in recent years and following those guidelines may be the difference between an accident victim living and dying.
If you act safely, swimming can be a great time and can break up the monotony that is summer. But unfortunately, swimming pool accidents may still occur and may leave your loved one injured or killed as a result.
If someone you care about has been the victim of a swimming pool accident in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, or Chandler, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and we have a lawyer available to take your call 24 hours a day toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., our team is experienced in helping victims of swimming pool drownings and if your life has been affected by one, we are standing by now to help you as well.
Prior Blog Entry:
T-Bone Crash Kills 2 in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 29, 2015.
How to prevent child drownings, by Kris Pickel, Catherine Holland, CBS5AZ.com, published June 24, 2015.