Swimming, floating, boating and other water activities are fun for children in Arizona, especially during the state’s sweltering summers. It is imperative, however, for parents to supervise children during water activities and follow other safety rules. Accidental drowning is a highly prominent cause of child hospitalizations and deaths in Arizona.
Drowning Statistics in Arizona
Bodies of water pose significant threats to young children. Swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, ponds, lakes and oceans can prove fatal for young swimmers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US. Every day, an average of two children 14 and younger die from drowning in the US. Statistics show that for every child who dies from drowning in America, five others receive emergency care.
As startling as national child drowning statistics are, Arizona’s statistics are even more disconcerting. In recent years, Arizona’s numbers have been almost twice the national average. A 2016-2018 report from the Arizona Department of Health Services found a total of 751 emergency department admissions for young children (ages 0 to 4) for drowning incidents. Maricopa County alone recorded 558 emergency room visits by young children for submersion injuries. The most common culprits in Arizona for child drowning incidents are swimming pools and bathtubs.
Pool Safety Tips
If you own a swimming pool or your child often visits someone who does, it is critical to follow a few basic water safety tips for kids. The swimming pool is the number one place in Arizona where small children drown and suffer related injuries. You may be able to prevent a disaster with a few safety tips.
- Create multiple barriers between your child and the swimming pool. Use fences, gates, locked doors and pool covers to keep your child out of the swimming pool when it is not in use.
- Supervise young swimmers. If your child is going for a swim, supervise him or her 100% of the time. Going inside the house even for a few minutes could be enough for your child to drown.
- Teach children to swim early. Statistics show a decreased risk of drowning-related injuries if a child knows how to swim. Teach your child early for optimal swimming pool safety.
Inspect your swimming pool for hazards regularly. These can include broken pool drain covers, exposed lights or a chemical imbalance. Strictly enforce swimming pool rules for kids, including no running on the pool deck, no swimming alone and no playing near pool drains. If an accident does happen, call 911 immediately and perform CPR on your child until paramedics arrive.
Safety Measures Required by Law for Pool Owners
Many child drownings in Arizona each year occur in neighborhood or community pools, as well as hotels, schools and daycare centers. Every pool owner in Arizona must by law ensure the reasonable safety of his or her swimming pool. This includes ensuring the safety of wandering children – even those who are trespassing. Arizona has legal pool enclosure requirements to help prevent personal injuries and deaths by drowning.
- The pool must have an enclosure surrounding it at any household where children under six years old reside.
- The enclosure must be at least five feet high, with no openings wider than four inches except for doors or gates.
- The enclosure must have no footholds or handholds on its exterior that a child could use to climb up.
- The enclosure must be at least 20 inches away from the water’s edge.
If your child suffered serious injuries or died in someone else’s pool, hire a Glendale premises liability lawyer to investigate property owner liability. The pool owner may owe your family financial compensation if he or she broke Arizona’s pool enclosure requirements or was otherwise negligent in preventing the accident.