Water safety awareness -- Life-saving tips to help you protect your kids

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on April 25, 2011 at 6:31 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 25 at 9:14 AM

PHOENIX -- In the wake of yet another drowning, the Phoenix Fire Department is reminding parents of the need to watch children around water at all times.

Capt. Jonathan Jacobs of the Phoenix Fire Department showed Tess Rafols some simple things you can do to keep the little ones from tumbling into that backyard swimming pool.

Most drownings and near drownings happen in swimming pools, but there are other hazards. Bath tubs, wading pools, hot tubs, toilets and even buckets can also be dangerous, especially to toddler and infants. A child can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.

While there are many different kinds of drowning dangers for kids, many of which don't seem obvious right away, swimming pools remain by far the biggest issue.

Twenty Maricopa County children drowned last year. All but two of those incidents happened in a swimming pool.

Everybody should know the ABCs of water safety.

A - Adult supervision
When it comes to keeping kids safe around water, the most important thing is adult supervision. Adults should have eye-to-eye contact with kids at all times.

B - Barriers
While there is no substitute for adult supervision, fences and locking gates can go a long way in keeping kids out of the swimming pool.

C - Classes
Not only should children take swimming lessons (although lessons in no way replace supervision), adults should be trained in CPR in case the unthinkable should happen.

There have already been 19 drowning incidents in Maricopa County this year. Fourteen of those were fatal.

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