TUCSON, Ariz. — It happens every year in Arizona.
“It’s hard, when you hear the stories,” said Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Program Coordinator Jodi Layton. “Any family that will ever talk to you about it happening to them, they didn't think it would happen to them. When they realize what they could have done, and it is so easily preventable it is heartbreaking.”
Layton says Pima County and multiple other jurisdictions have declared August Drowning Impact Awareness Month. 2019 was the first year since 2010 that Pima County did not have a child drowning death. 2020 had one child drowning death. So far this year there haven't been any child drowning deaths reported in Pima County, but there have recently been tragedies in other parts of southern Arizona.
"It is very silent, very quiet, and very quick. They can drown in an inch of water, a bathtub, or a bucket of water. “It isn't just pools necessarily.”
Officials say to remember the ABC's of drowning prevention. The “A” is for adult supervision.
“Designating an adult to watch the water, having a designated water watcher to keep a set of eyes on the pool while you have the barbeque going things like that,” said Aquatics Supervisor Allison Rock.
“B” stands for barriers around water and “C” stands for classes. Classes can be swim classes for children and CPR training for adults. Young children should also always wear a life jacket around any body of water.
"You want to make sure it is US coast guard approved, all the buckles are tight, and it fits you,” said Rock.
Layton says even though summer break is ending for most students, pool season and drowning dangers will continue in Arizona.
"This is a very high-risk month still for drownings, because everyone is distracted and getting back in the swing of things,” she said. “And that's why we like to do it in august and get the message out there.”