August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month
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.
Arizona has one of the highest child drowning rates in the country. See Maricopa County's incident totals or the totals for your city for 2013 to date.
Every child drowning is preventable, and Arizona is also home to innovative programs like Water Watchers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Through the hard work of advocates across the state to educate and raise awareness, the drowning rate has fallen dramatically in recent years. | View chart
Phoenix Children’s Hospital wants families to take the right steps today, to save a child’s life. That’s why we are proud to bring the 10th Annual Drowning Impact Awareness Month to Arizona families.
This statewide effort focuses on purple ribbons to remember those touched by child drownings, and encourages safety around the water. Drowning Impact Awareness Month is Arizona’s largest collaborative effort to prevent drownings.
Since the first year of this vital campaign, more than 600,000 purple ribbons have been distributed. The effort includes ribbons worn by supporters, proclamations from the Governor and Mayors across the state, events, and a statewide focus on water safety. If you'd like to get involved, you can request and distribute ribbons, volunteer for Water Watchers, or donate to the program.
Most importantly, check out the Water Watchers page for simple tips to help you practice water safety in your own home.
Most importantly, follow these steps during pool parties and family gatherings beside pools:
- Choose a few “Water Watchers,” so children always have constant, capable supervision by the water.
- Pick adults, who can swim and give CPR.
- Have more than one Water Watcher if the pool area is crowded.
While you swim:
- Limit your Water Watcher’s time on duty to 15 minutes.
- Ask your water watcher not talk or play games on the phone.
- Limit alcohol for Water Watchers.
When you’re going inside to eat:
- Announce that the pool is closed, and check to make sure children have left the area.
- Close and latch the pool gate.
- Look carefully at the fence, to make sure children can’t go over, under, or through it.
When you’re ready to swim again:
- Reset your next Water Watcher, and let the fun begin!
What else you can do:
- Wear purple awareness ribbons.
- Include water safety messages in business communication, church newsletters, homeowner’s association information, and conversations with friends.
- Encourage and sign-up for water safety lunch n' learns.
- Spread the word about existing efforts for maximum attention and support.
- Check out the Water Watchers page for more tips to help you practice water safety in your own home.