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Officials: 4 weekend drownings reported remind of need for water safety education

Photo meant to illustrate water safety and drowning
The free water safety event is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13, at the Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort, 11111 N. 7th St. in Phoenix. (File Photos/
Free Water Safety Day is May 13 at Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Valley experienced four drownings this past weekend, spanning age groups from toddler to older adult, water safety officials report.

“We have barely entered into the high temps that really drive people to water,” says Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona President Meghan Chute. “This weekend was a terrible way to kick off the summer season.”

May is National Water Safety Month.

The DPCA annually hosts a Summer Water Safety Day with sponsor Hilton Phoenix resorts, which opens its pools free to the public for the special event. This year, the event is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13, at the Hilton Phoenix Tapatio Cliffs Resort, 11111 N. 7th St., Phoenix.

Music, mascots and entertainment will keep the event a party, while attendees visit with community advocates from fire departments, hospitals, YMCA and swim schools. The event will also feature CPR demonstrations and a water rescue.

“We want swimmers of all ages to realize that while the water is fun, we still need to respect it and take simple steps to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Ms. Chute said in a prepared statement. “At this event, advocates educate the community in hopes to prevent repeat of this past weekend.”

The DPCA recommends layers of protection. This includes adult supervision for children and that no one ever swims alone. Fences and other barriers should be in place to limit access when children are not expected to be in the water.

Life vests should be worn in water above the swimmer’s ability. (No floaties!) Swim lessons are recommended at any age. And mouth-to-mouth CPR should be administered immediately if all other layers fail.

“Let’s all work together to stop any more devastating weekends like this one,” Ms. Chute said. “We can prevent drownings.”

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