Gilbert, AZ

Important water safety tips from Gilbert Fire and Rescue

Scott Murdoch

GILBERT, AZ - Gilbert Fire and Rescue teams are called out to water-related accidents involving children every year. This preventable incident usually happens quickly and quietly.

So far this year, there have been 28 water-related deaths in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Children under the age of 12 were included in eight of the incidents.

Every child drowning can be avoided, but there is often little that can be done once a youngster has fallen into the water. The best remedy is prevention, and raising awareness is free.

In the spirit of Drowning Impact Awareness Month, GFRD encourages parents and pool owners to follow the ABCD's of Water Safety.

  • A - Adult Supervision

The need for adult supervision in preventing drownings can not be overstated. While near the water, parents or undistracted adults should be present to watch the children. No reading, looking through your phone, or performing chores are permitted. Drownings happen in a matter of seconds, so stay alert.

  • B - Barriers

If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence with a self-locking safe gate that runs all the way around it. Dog doors should not have direct access to the pool, and they should be closed to keep youngsters out. Tables, chairs, and anything else that a youngster may climb away from the pool barrier should also be kept away. It is your duty to keep all children, even those from your neighborhood, safe.

  • C - Classes

Children should take swimming lessons until they are confident and capable of saving themselves in water over their heads. Adults may also consider taking CPR lessons and becoming certified. You'll wish you had it when the time comes to use it.

  • D - Devices

Always have Coast Guard-approved equipment such as life jackets for those who can not swim. Don't use inflatable floaties since they are considered toys rather than lifesaving devices.

In addition, teach your children to stay away from water when no adult is around. It will help them to be more careful and know to come and grab you first before getting in.

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