Water safety reminder as hot days lingerPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- As swimmers soak in the last days of summer, emergency crews urge parents not to let their guard down-- even for a second.
On a hot summer day the blue pool waters call Lacey Huffstetler's name.
"It is really really great to be in the pool right now, especially down here in Tucson, it's really hot," said Lacey.
The 8-year-old spent some time at the pool with her father-- playing her favorite game.
"I really like Marco Polo. It's a lot of fun," said Lacey.
But while Lacey knows what fun the water can bring, she also realizes it's dangerous.
"I always know that I need somebody watching me, a parent, a friend that's older," said Lacey.
Emergency crews say drownings are especially common during long holiday weekends.
Adults are busy entertaining guests and preparing food.
"Every incident we see happens in a split second and people often say they never thought something this tragic was going to happen to them," said Capt. Trish Tracy of the Tucson Fire Department.
Captain Tracy of the Tucson Fire Department says parents should remember three things.
"Just remember to make sure the gates aren't propped open, make sure you remove all the toys from the pool area when you're done swimming and make sure there is someone assigned to watch the children," said Capt. Tracy.
With the smaller children Tracy recommends one adult per child. For Lacey's father, age doesn't matter even if the child knows how to swim.
"I don't worry because she swims all the time, but I do keep an eye on her. I think you should," said Lacey's father Jim Huffstetler.
Swimmers should also stay hydrated and re-apply sunscreen at least every two hours. Keeping that watchful eye could help spot an endangered child before it's too late.
"Even just looking away for a second to see another kid doing something is enough time for a child to drown," said Tracy.
So far this year there have been 15 water incidents in Pima County. Five of those were fatal.