PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona’s Family and The Valley of the Sun YMCA are partnering to help Arizonans Swim Safe this summer. Together, we are committed to raising awareness around preventable accidental drownings that occur every year.

Arizona’s Family reporter, Maria Hechanova, will be sharing water safety tips and stories to help increase water safety awareness and keep you safe.

DROWNING: HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of four and second leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 12. Nationally, three children die each day as a result of drowning.

Arizona dominates the top 10 list of home pools per capita among other US cities. A recent study conducted by LendingTree found that nearly 33% of homes in Phoenix have a pool.

With 60% of youth drowning incidents occurring within 10 feet of water it is crucial to take additional precautions around pools, lakes and other bodies of water to ensure safety.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Within the past five years, 67 children under the age of 5 have died from drowning in Maricopa and Pinal counties. That's enough to fill up four preschool classrooms.

Drowning is fast and silent and can happen in as little as 20 seconds.

Take extra precautions to prevent accidental drownings:

  • Ensure that pool fences, locks and alarms are working properly.
  • Install a four–sided isolation fence with self–closing and self–latching gates around home swimming pools.
  • Formal swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Be sure that you and your family know the basics of swimming and CPR.
  • Make life jackets a must around natural bodies of water, even if children know how to swim.
  • Teach children to never go around water without adult supervision.
  • Always supervise children when they are in or near water. Download a Water Watcher Tag and take the Water Watcher pledge to actively watch all children around water. Designate and adult to keep their eyes on the water and avoid distractions.
  • In an emergency, pull all children out of the water, call 911 and begin CPR.

Help Arizona’s Family and The Valley of the Sun YMCA increase water safety awareness within the community this summer and commit to Swim Safe.

Find more water safety tips on The Valley of the Sun YMCA’s Facebook page.

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