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Drownings in Phoenix Increased in 2011

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, there were 86 child and adult drownings in Phoenix 2011, an increase from 71 drownings in 2010. This resulted in 49 total drowning deaths in 2011, 16 of which were children. In 2010, there were 48 drowning deaths in Maricopa County and 20 of those were children.

In Arizona, 179 people were transported to the hospital because of water-related incidents in 2011. There were only 140 such incidents in 2010. Water-related incidents include drownings and near-drownings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drownings are the leading cause of injury and death for children age 1 to 4.

The risk of a child drowning is a year-round concern in Arizona, said Lori Schmidt, president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona. In the summer months, drownings occur when children are unsupervised around the water or supervised by distracted adults.  In the winter, children tend to drown because there is not a barrier such as a pool fence or a cover that prevents children from falling into the pool.

Tiffaney Isaacson is the water-safety coordinator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She reports that the majority of drownings occur when a toddler is at home with one or both parents present. Many parents put themselves at risk of drowning if they do not know how to swim and they attempt to save their child.

The downturn in the economy has forced many people to move from homes to apartment where there is a community pool. This makes it more challenging for parents to monitor their children in a crowd and it is easier for children to gain access to the pool without adult supervision.

Ed Swift of Children’s Safety Zone recommends that parents employed a “layered approach” to water safety. He said, “Locked doors, fences and, ultimately, swimming lessons give children a fighting chance.”

If you or a loved one has been injured or died in a water-related incident, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.

Photo credit: saiberiac from Flickr