Summertime in the Valley means more pool time, and unfortunately, more pool dangers.
As of June 19, 2018, there have been eight media-reported drownings in the Valley and nine other near-drowning incidents.
Here is a list of groups, organizations and general tips to keep your family safe around the water.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in children one to four years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Here are some options for swimming lessons, many of which are low-cost or free:
- Swim 50 USA: A young, competitive swimmer from the Valley started a non-profit organization to help kids learn to float and swim. According to the USA swimming, 80 percent of children from low-income families have little to no swimming ability at all.
- City of Phoenix Kool Kids Program
- Mesa Making Waves Scholarship
Hubbard Swim School locations across the Valley offer free Baby Splash for 8 weeks through 5 months. They also offer Little Snappers for ages 6 months through 35 months. Find out more by heading here.
Hubbard Swim School also offers regular swim open events free to the entire family. Check their site calendar for detailed information on any that may be approaching
City of Peoria: free swimming lessons at select pools
City of Buckeye: free swimming lessons for children and adults
Salvation Army Kroc Center: scholarships for reduced rate swimming lessons for families who qualify
Town of Gilbert: reduced cost swimming lessons for children (registration begins May 1)
- Salt River Project has a program that allows you to apply for a free pool fence at your home. You can sign up and get more information here.
- Phoenix Firefighter Charities has an Adopt a Pool Fence program, started in 2001. Applications can be found and submitted here.
Water safety tips
Phoenix Fire Department offers an extensive list of water safety tips and pool fencing rules online. They include:
- Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house.
- NEVER allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source. This includes bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds and canals.
- Have life-saving devices near the pool, such as a hook, pole, or flotation device.
- Keep large objects such as tables, chairs, tricycles or ladders away from pool fences.
- NEVER leave children unattended in or around a pool. ALWAYS have a designated child watcher.
- Do not allow children to play in the pool area. Store all toys outside of the pool area.
- If you leave the pool area, take the child (children) with you.
- Learn to swim.
- Never swim alone.
- Never swim under the influence of alcohol or medications.
- Never swim when you hear thunder or see lightning.
- Never dive into an unfamiliar body of water.