Parents Urged to Use Toys Properly During National Water Safety Month
Large-scale Effort Aims to Improve Adult Supervision Strategies
Phoenix, Arizona – Drowning is a top cause of injury-related death for children across the United States. In 2010 alone, more than 800 children and teens drowned. The problem is even worse in Arizona, where 30 of those deaths occurred, putting our child drowning rate one third higher than the national rate.
That’s why the month of May is “National Water Safety Month,” and Phoenix Children’s Hospital is teaming up with the City of Maricopa Fire Department and Maricopa Unified School District for a special campaign.
The effort will include:
- Child education: All City of Maricopa first graders will complete the “Water Safety is for YOU” curriculum, an award-winning drowning prevention program.
- Material distribution: Drowning prevention materials will be assembled and distributed to 2,000 Maricopa families.
- Event: Families are invited to a special “Safe and Healthy Kids Summer Splash” event on Thursday May 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Maricopa Unified District Office. This free event will feature:
o CPR refresher lessons, presented by Maricopa Fire.
o Parent workshops, giving parents evidence-based drowning prevention strategies.
o Interactive booths and giveaways.
o Free food, provided by the Rotary Club of Maricopa.
During May, and all year long, it’s critical for parents to use swimming toys properly. A 2013 American Red Cross survey found that two thirds of parents mistakenly believe that putting inflatable arm bands or “floaties” on children is enough to keep them safe while swimming. Parents need to know that arm floats, inflatable rings, beach balls, and pool noodles are all toys and none of these objects increase a child’s safety in and near the water. Constant, capable adult supervision is critical anytime children have access to the water. Also, the use of a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket, which is properly fitted to a child, in conjunction with constant, capable supervision, can enhance safety in and around the pool.
About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital is Arizona’s only children’s hospital that is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Phoenix Children's provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children’s provides care across over 75 pediatric specialties. The Hospital is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education. For more information about the hospital, visit www.phoenixchildrens.org.