May is Water Safety Month

water safety monthThe summer months are here. And as tempting as it might be to keep cool in the pool or hang by your favorite lake, stop and remember to watch those around water who may be susceptible to drowning. Since January 2014, Arizona has had 19 drownings, 8 of which were children. As temperatures in Arizona go up, let’s keep the statistics down!

While there are several ways to prevent water hazards, here are some main points to keep in mind:

1. Staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

2.  Learning and practicing water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

3.  Having appropriate equipment for your pool or spa

  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use  self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same  at their pools.
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool,  install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection,  install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm

Additionally, take a look what various cities and community departments have provided in order to heighten water safety awareness:

  • City of Scottsdale: Offers several tips, including CPR class opportunities here.
  • City of Casa Grande: Some great tips, resources, and informational video on water safety is provided here.
  • City of Maricopa: The city has released some great tips on water safety. Take a look here.
  • City aquatics departments: SRP Safety Connection partners with city aquatics departments in Maricopa County during the summer to sponsor free or reduced-price swimming lessons at selected Valley public pools. This year, SRP will sponsor free swimming lessons through the city of Mesa’s Making Waves program and reduced-price swimming lessons through the city of Phoenix’s Kool Kids program.
  • City of Yuma: With several facts and statistics, Yuma illustrates the importance of water safety and provides several resources and tips as well, here.
  • City of Tucson: Provides the “ABC’s” of water safety with helpful pointers on supervising children around water, here.
  • City of Chandler: With their slogan “Eye to Eye to Supervise,” Chandler rallies water safety through helpful videos and tips here.
  • Salt River Project: Here is a special video provided by SRP on water safety and how to use life-saving techniques in the event of a water incident:

Let this month serve as a reminder to always practice water safety – no matter what time of year it is!