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Drowning Impact Awareness Month Highlights Critical Water Safety Measures

Each August, mayors and other leaders across Arizona collaborate to recognize an important initiative: Drowning Impact Awareness Month. Launched in August 2004, Drowning Impact Awareness Month aims to raise awareness of the frequency of child drowning incidents in Arizona and the impact that they leave on families and communities.

In Arizona, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under five. As of July 31, 2017, there had been 32 drowning deaths stemming from 77 water-related incidents in the Phoenix area alone since the beginning of the year. While June, July, and August are all peak months for child drownings, it is believed that the stress and distractions that come with back-to-school time in August make it a particularly risky month. However, despite the grim statistics, the good news is that drowning deaths are preventable—and awareness of the risks and preventative measures is the key to eliminating these types of tragedies.

As part of its mission, the Drowning Impact Awareness Month initiative reminds parents, caregivers, and all pool owners of the “ABCs of Water Safety”:

Adult supervision 

Whenever children are near water, constant and focused adult supervision is always the best way to prevent accidents. This means that at least one adult (or more, depending on how many children are present) should be monitoring the kids—without any distractions. Remember that a child can drown in just a few seconds, so tragedy can strike in the time that it takes for a supervising adult to send a text message, have a short conversation, or step inside for a glass of water.

Barriers 

Bodies of water should be secured by barriers that effectively prevent children from accessing the water without supervision. For example, homes, communities, and commercial properties with pools and/or hot tubs must have sturdy fences and gates surrounding the pool area. Arizona law (http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/environmental-health/index.php) requires pool fences to be at least five feet high, located a minimum of 20 inches from the water’s edge, and have no gaps, handholds and footholds that could be used to climb the fence. Gates must open outward from the pool and have self-closing and self-latching mechanisms. In addition to meeting these legal requirements, property owners must ensure that all components of the pool barriers are in sound condition and functioning properly.

Classes 

Experts recommend that children begin taking swimming lessons at an early age, and adults should take CPR classes so they know how to minimize the risk of death or serious injury in the event that a drowning incident occurs.

At DCS Pool Barriers, our mission is to ensure that all property owners fulfill the “B” in the ABCs of Water Safety. We design and manufacture wrought iron pool fences and gates that comply with state and local regulations and contain only the highest quality materials. As a result, our pool barriers are extremely durable—which reduces the odds that they will be breached and allow unauthorized access to the pool area. Our team of professionals will install the barriers and verify that all components are working properly. We work with both residential and commercial property owners throughout the greater Phoenix area, and our services include fencing and gate repair. Contact us today at http://dcspoolbarriers.com/contact-us/ to request a free estimate!

(Sources: https://ein.az.gov/emergency-information/emergency-bulletin/august-drowning-impact-awareness-month, http://www.childrensafetyzone.com/go/drowning-impact-awareness-month-fact-sheet/).

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