West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, March 30, 2012
Indian School Rd
‘2 seconds is too long’
Watching children around water is key to preventing drownings by Emily McCann
year, referring to how long it can take a child to drown. Arizona ranks second in the nation for the number of child
drownings. Each year, at least 100 children venture out to pools unnoticed or are left alone in bathtubs. Last year, 125 water-related incidents involving children and teenagers were reported in Maricopa County, and 19 of those resulted in deaths. Drowning isn’t just limited to warmer months. Since
“Two seconds is too long.” That’s one of the many slogans drilled into parents every
January, 18 water-related incidents have been reported, and three deaths. The main factor of a child’s recovery outcome after being
submerged in water is how long he was under, Tolleson Fire Chief George Good said. “If it’s an extremely short time and the child is out before we get there, then the odds are generally pretty good,” he said. “But if the child has been in for several minutes, which isn’t a very long time, even if the child is out of the water when we get there, with each passing minute the chances of survival decrease.” Some tips provided by safety officials to prevent such an incident include: • Never take your eyes off a child when he or she is in or
near any body of water, even for a second. • Don’t rely solely on barriers, such as fences or walls. • Keep toys, tricycles and children’s playthings out of the
water and away from the pool or spa. • Keep a cordless phone by the pool so you don’t have to
leave the area, and you can also call 911 if an emergency occurs. • Adults should know how to swim and learn CPR. “The message is the same one we give every year, and that is that there is no substitute for adequate supervision of children,” Good said. “If that one factor was observed, we wouldn’t need barriers, alarms or to teach people all these
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TWIN BROTHERS JOSHUA GUNNELL, LEFT, AND JEREMIAH, 11, practice swimming in the pool at the Southwest Valley YMCA in Goodyear Wednesday. The twins were visiting their Goodyear grandparents from Indianapolis. With temperatures beginning to creep up, officials from around the Valley are urging parents to watch their children around water.
water safety tips. The truth is it’s very difficult to know where your kid is every minute of every day.” That’s why safety officials stress the importance of
preventative measures, such as pool fences, he said. Doors and gates leading to the pool or spa area should be self-closing and self-latching, or equipped with exit alarms. Arizona Pool Fence Laws state that all residential pools must be enclosed by a barrier. Families with children younger than 6 must have a barrier blocking access to the pool that’s at least 5 feet high and 20 inches from the water’s edge.
Free fences In an effort to save lives and prevent drownings, Fulton Homes and KMLE Country 108 are kicking off their ninth annual Fence Patrol program April 2. A free fence will be awarded each week into July to residents who cannot afford one. Installation is included, and the fences are designed to meet city codes for optimum safety. Fulton Homes started the program in response to an increase in drownings around the Valley. Residents can nominate themselves or a deserving family for a free fence by going to www.kmle108.com
and clicking on the Fence Patrol icon.
sergeant at Luke Air Force Base, and his wife, Briana. The couple bought their first house in Surprise after getting
One of the recipients last year was Derek Smellie, a staff
pregnant. A month later, they opened their home to Briana’s sister’s family, who was experiencing financial problems and had two young boys. Briana said she worried about her nephews’ safety around the pool, but a fence just wasn’t in the budget. “Concerned parents like Derek and Briana know that a pool fence is a necessity when there are children in the home, but sometimes the money just isn’t there,” said Douglas Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “That’s why Fulton Homes is dedicated to continuing our Fence Patrol program, not only to help deserving families in need, but to spread the word about pool safety.” For information, call 602-452-1000 or go to www. fultonhomes.com
and click on the “Fulton Foundation” link.
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lessons available Buckeye • Buckeye Aquatic Center, 207 N. Ninth St. Registration for swim lessons starts at 7 a.m. April 16 at the Dr. Saide Recreation Center, 1003 E. Eason Ave. For information, call the Recreation Center at 623-349-
• Goodyear Swimming Pool, 430 E. Loma Linda Blvd. Swim lessons start May 21 and lessons are organized by age and ability. In order to register, children must attend a swim assessment any time from 9 a.m. to noon April 7 to May 26. The assessments take 5-10 minutes, and children should have a swimsuit and towel. Registration will not be accepted at that time. Swim lessons are conducted in two-week sessions and registration takes place the week before each session. The first session will run May 21 to June 1, with no class May 28. Lessons are 30 minutes and run throughout the day, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Cost is $30 for Goodyear residents and $40 for non-residents. Registration for Goodyear residents is May 14 and
open registration will be held May 15-18, until filled. For the following eight sessions in June through September, visit www.goodyearaz.gov/rec
. Register at the above website or at Goodyear Recreation (Fire Station 183), 3075 N. Litchfield Road from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call 623-882-7525.
Litchfield Park • Recreation Center, 100 S. Old Litchfield Road. All group lessons are held for two weeks, meeting 30 to 45 minutes per day for four days. Registration is open to Litchfield Park residents starting at 8 a.m. April 23, and non-residents can register starting at 8 a.m. May 5. Online registration is available at www. litchfield-park.org
Classes will be held at various times throughout the morning and evening, depending on levels. Children must be at least 3 years old to participate. Cost for a two-week session is $33 for residents and $40 for non-residents.
Sessions will run May 29 to June 7, June 11-21, June 25 to July 6 (no lessons July 4), July 9-19 and July 23 to Aug. 2. For information, call 623-935-9040.
Southwest Valley YMCA • 2919 N. Litchfield Road in Goodyear. The organization is already offering swim lessons for all ages. Costs vary depending on age group and membership level. For information, call 623-935-5193 or visit swvalleyymca.org
Tolleson • Tolleson Union High School, 9419 W. Van Buren St. Hours and dates for swim lessons have not been determined. For information, call 623-478-4398 toward the end of
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