Many Arizonans beat the heat each summer by jumping into the pool or spending time at the lake, but it’s not always fun and games!
Drownings are far too common in Arizona. According to Children's Safety Zone, there's been 57 water incidents in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties just this year. Sadly, 20 people died including eight under the age of 5.
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While drownings in pools get the most attention, nationwide more actually happen in open water. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 43% of children and teens drown in open water compared to 38% in pools.
Safe Kids Worldwide also found 1,002 children drowned in 2016 while roughly 7,000 more went to the emergency room for a drowning scare.
Swimming in the open water is much different than a backyard pool. Open water can be choppy and have a current or undertow. It’s important to know the difference and teach your children about the hidden hazards of swimming in a lake or river.
The Peoria Fire Department wants people to consider the following tips next time they head out to the lake.Never swim near the back of the boat Check the weather since windy conditions can lead to choppy water and boats can overturn Children under 14 should always wear a life jacket even if they're a strong swimmer Never dive head first into the open water Know the difference between open water and pools Always have constant eye-to-eye supervision with children around water
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