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Recent drowning emphasizes need for water safety

Posted at 9:05 PM, Apr 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-03 01:31:57-04

PHOENIX — Drownings continue claiming the lives of children every year in the Valley.

Friday afternoon, a three-year-old girl lost her life after being pulled from a pool in Phoenix.

Saturday morning, another toddler was taken to the hospital after being submerged in water, in the West Valley.

The Phoenix Fire Department has always been vocal about bringing awareness to this continued issue, recently launching a new water safety campaign called Drowning Zero.

“Tragically we witness this all too often,” said Phoenix Fire Chief Michael Duran.

Chief Duran was referring to drownings, when speaking at a mock drowning event.

He says this can be prevented.

“Never leave your children alone, unattended in a pool. Always have a designated child watcher. Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house. Never allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source,” he said.

He also said to never leave children unattended in bathtubs, toilets, ponds or canals.

A Valley company is also doing its part to keep kids safe.

Mike Girelach, the owner of Desert Pool Safety, says requests for pool safety nets are starting to climb.

“It’s that time of year where we’re getting out and enjoying our pools. As you can see the kids can’t get into the pool and it still keeps the backyard open and the aesthetics nice,” he said, while showing ABC15 how a pool net is used.

His wife, Lauren Howson, says while fences are great barriers, they do have their downfalls.

“By the time the kids are two, three, four even, they’re going to try to get up and over the fence. So, the net is good because once you lock it, you know the net is going to be locked until you physically take the key and unlock it,” she said.

Howson says the net they install creates a safe distance between the surface of the water and the net.

“She has enough distance that if she does breathe in, she’s not going to get water,” she told ABC15.

So far this year, there has been four near-drownings and four drownings involving children in the Valley.

Last year we had 32 near-drownings and 17 drownings.

Chief Duran reminds people that in the unfortunate event a child falls in, every second counts.

“Learn CPR. These lessons can save a life one day,” said Chief Duran.