With the pool season in effect in Arizona, now is the time people need to make their safety plans as well. Near-fatal water-related incidents in Arizona are on the rise this year with 8 fatal and 24 non-fatal incidents so far. A Scottsdale mother, Leisa Crawford, shares a near-drowning incident that resulted in the lost of her brother.
“If we had had a pool fence this wouldn’t have happened; I’m almost certain of it,” said Crawford, who lost her brother Andrew two years ago to severe complications from the near-drowning accident. When he was 3 years old he nearly drowned, and he past away at 29 due to the complications.
Crawford recalls the incident at home it happened. “Last thing I heard was my mom screaming, and I heard my dad running outside, and I saw my dad pulling my brother out of the pool, white face, blue lips, and he was dead,” she said. Her dad administered CPR. Andrew regained consciousness, but he never could walk, talk, or even eat on his own again. Now a mother a 3-year-old boy, Crawford wants to lead by example. “I want everyone to know that just a split second can change your life completely and you have to always keep that in mind when you’re around water,” she said. Crawford began giving her son Greyson swimming lessons at nine months old. “I couldn’t imagine my son in that position,” she said.
It is difficult to watch our children every second of every day, but there might have been safety precautions that could have been in place to prevent water related incidents. Here are 5 ways you can protect your family and loved ones around the pool this summer:
1. Install a secured pool fence such as a removable mesh pool fence.
For more information about pool safety products such as pool fences, pool covers, and pool nets contact your local All-Safe Dealer in the Greater Phoenix area.
2. Educate yourself with CPR.
3. Have a designated water watcher to supervise the people in the pool.
Always have an adult to watch the pool inhabitants and never leave young children unsupervised. Ensure that the designated water watcher possesses adequate swimming capabilities and enforces appropriate pool safety etiquette and behavior. To encourage having designated water watchers in your household Banner Health has a drowning prevention program that sends thousands of water safety kits every year to families across Arizona. Those kits include a little bracelet for the designated water watcher.
4. Suit up your children up in life jackets only, never just floaties.
“They’re not life-saving devices and they can pop; they can slide off the child and so they should not be used for that instance. We highly recommend parents do not buy those for their children,” said Michele Long with the Mesa Fire and Medical Department.
5. Take swimming lessons and teach your children how to swim at an early age.
Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim. By knowing how to swim you eliminate your water fears and you gain the ability to save a child’s life. Also, teaching children how to swim when they are young will instill the appropriate water safety skills needed when they are in the pool.
To read more about Leisa Crawford’s story.