Drowning Impact Awareness in August

Take steps right now to save a child’s life; it’s as simple as ABC

By Tina Gerola

The month of August in Arizona means back-to-school and long, hot days. Unfortunately, the hot weather and distraction of back-to-school also spells increased risk for child drownings. Water related incidents tend to peak in the month of August, and every year we work to educate the community so the message stays fresh in late summer.

Superstition Fire & Medical District joins Phoenix Children’s Hospital in asking Arizona families to take the right steps today, to save a child’s life. It’s as easy as ABC:

  • Active Undistracted Adult Supervision. Reading, texting or talking while children are in or around water is not active supervision.
  • Barriers are anything and everything that come between the child and the water. This includes pool fences with self-latching gates, window and door alarms and you!
  • Coast Guard Approved Life Vests & Classes. Small children should wear Coast Guard approved life vests anytime they are near the pool, and everyone in your family must know how to swim and know CPR.

On Tuesday, July 17, Mayor Jeff Serdy proclaimed August as Drowning Impact Awareness Month in Apache Junction. Purple ribbons and wristbands will be worn all month as a way to spark up the conversation of water safety and to recognize the impact that fatal and non-fatal drownings have upon children, families, first responders and the entire community

Drowning is our nation’s #1 cause of unintentional death of children under the age of five years old. Since June 2018, the state of Arizona has had 26 deaths, including 9 who were children under the age of 5. Although none of the drownings were from Apache Junction, all of them were preventable. More than 50% of drowning survivors treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These non-fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities.

Join SFMD in this important effort by picking up your free package of drowning prevention material and purple ribbon/wristband at Superstition Fire & Medical District’s Administration office, located at 565 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction. To find out more about water safety, CPR and swim classes, please call 480-982-4440, Ext. 104 or visit us at www.sfmd.az.gov

Photo above: Tina Gerola (right), SFMD Fire & Life Safety Specialist, accepted a proclamation declaring August 2018 as Drowning Impact Awareness Month from Mayor Jeff Serdy (left) at the July 17 City Council meeting.

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