As the weather heats up, we are reminded that pool season is just around the corner and hopefully also reminded of the importance of teaching our children about water-safety.
On May 31st, 1998, Ms. Druann Letter’s three-year-old son Weston drowned in their backyard swimming pool at their home in Gilbert. As a teacher at Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School, Ms. Letter very quickly became determined to see good come from her tragedy.
Ms. Letter said, “At Weston’s funeral, one of my first-graders came up to me and said ‘Mrs. Letter, if I was there I would have jumped in and saved Weston.” According to Ms. Letter, “That was kind of the spark that started it. Is that really what they would do? We did a study at our school and found out that people know very little about water safety and what to do to be safe. That’s how Water Watchers was started.”
Water Watchers, the organization created by Ms. Letter, delivers a simple yet important message to keep children safe around water, called the ABC’s of water safety.
The organization, which has been adopted by Phoenix Children’s Hospital, held its annual Water Safety Day on Tuesday at South Mountain Community College. The event was attended by hundreds of people including first-grade students and representatives from several local fire departments.
According to Water Watchers Water-Safety Coordinator, Tiffaney Isaacson, children ages five and younger are most at risk for drowning. However, according to Ms. Isaacson, young children are also very receptive to the water-safety message.
As part of the Water Safety event, children receive information to take home to their parents because, according to Ms. Isaacson, parents should become involved in discussing the importance of water safety with their children. Ms. Isaacson said, “If children learn, and that’s where we stop, we’ve failed. We need the parents to have a conversation with their children around the dinner table . . . If we don’t reach out to the community effectively and teach them how urgent this is and how preventable this is, we’ve failed.”
Local fire departments also make water-safety education a priority. In addition to attending educational events such as the one coordinated by Water Watchers, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe Fire Departments also pass out water-safety information around valley neighborhoods. Mesa drowning prevention coordinator Michele Long said, “We think one drowning is one too many. Our goal is to get the message out there to as many individuals as possible.”
According to Chandler Fire Battalion Chief Tom Dwiggins, “Any time we do an event we carry the water-safety message with us . . . We’ll be there with coloring books and pamphlets. The water-safety message is going on throughout the year. It’s part of our message now.”
According to experts, most drowning is preventable with proper education and awareness. Ms. Isaacson said, “All drownings are preventable, basically. Very seldom do we see a situation where we think, ‘wow there’s really nothing we could have done.”
The personal injury attorneys at the law firm Oracle Law Group hope you will educate your children about water safety.
And, if you are in need of an attorney, please contact the personal injury lawyers at the law firm Oracle Law Group today.