Swimming and other water-related activities are one of the most favorite pastime activities for many Americans, especially during the hot summer months. However, drowning represents one of the most common dangers of swimming, accounting for nearly 3,000 deaths annually. For children under the age of four, drowning takes the top spot as the leading cause of accidental death.
In the state of Arizona, the numbers of drowning-related deaths constantly surpass the national average with about 90 people, including children, dying annually. Safety barriers in Arizona such as pool fences are a significant factor in the safety of pools.
Pool Safety: The Numbers
In some cities in Arizona, the number of drowning-related child fatalities is on the rise. For instance, in Phoenix, the number of children who drowned in 2014 had almost doubled halfway through the year compared with those who died in 2013. In 2015, Phoenix has had eight drowning-related incidents involving six children under the age of five and two adults. The city has already recorded one pediatric fatality.
In Scottsdale, there have been four incidents involving residential drowning incidents involving one pediatric child and three adults, where one adult died. Tempe and Gilbert fire departments reported single incidents related to drowning, where one pediatric child was injured in both cities.
In the cities of Mesa and Chandler, the fire departments reported two drowning-related incidents in both cities where a total of three pediatric children and one adult were injured. There have been 34 water-related incidents in the period up to May of 2015, which resulted in nine deaths including two pediatric children and six adults.
Pool Safety Requirements In Arizona
The relatively high number of child deaths associated with water-related incidents has raised concerns among legislators, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Enclosed pool areas are significantly safer, and legislators are looking at ways to encourage more pool fences in Arizona.
In efforts to protect the welfare and safety of children in Arizona, the Arizona State Legislature passed A.R.S. § 36-1681, which regulates access to residential swimming pools by children. As part of the regulations, the law requires all residences with pools and children under six years to have an enclosure around the swimming pool.
Swimming Pool Enclosures
The enclosure can be a removable mesh pool fence, wall, or barrier that stands at over 5 feet, and is 20 inches from the edge of the pool water. Additionally, the enclosure should only have doors or gates and no other openings or structures that would enable someone to climb the barrier. Contact a local pool fence company such as All-Safe Pool and talk with the professional pool fence installer in Arizona.
It is also important to note that any gates providing direct access to the pool should open outwards and should be self-latching and self-locking to prevent children from gaining easy and unsupervised access to the swimming pool area.
Implementing Pool Safety Measures At Home
Install a pool fence around the perimeter of your pool area and include a gate that should always be locked and secured. The locks and latches should be regularly checked for any defects to ensure they are in proper working order. Get in touch with a professional pool fence installation company, such as All-Safe Pool Fence & Covers, who will install a pool fence in Arizona and specializes in backyard pools in the Greater Phoenix area.
Many parents or guardians who have lost children in drowning incidents will often recount that their children drowned quickly and without a sound. One of the reasons children drown without sound (especially children under the age of 5) is they may not comprehend danger and do not know they can scream and shout to alert others they are in distress.
Safeguard your children against near-drowning and drowning accidents by providing constant supervision. You should never leave a child unattended at the pool or near any watering body that is deep enough for the child to be submerged.
Ensure there are proper flotation devices like life jackets, access to a phone, and a first aid kit for emergencies within the pool area.
Enroll your child in a swimming class that also provides emergency training in courses such as CPR and first aid. However, swimming lessons and floatation devices should never be substituted for supervision because, even with the availability of the most sophisticated equipment, children might drown without supervision.
With the peak season for water activities approaching, it pays to stay vigilant over your child when they take to the pool. Attending a water rescue and CPR class will also go a long way in saving a child’s life and helping to curb the runaway mortalities associated with drowning.
Talk to an Expert
Find your local dealer for a free on-site consultation on installing a pool fence in Arizona. A local expert can help you determine the right kind of safety barrier for your family to create a reliable and cost-effective solution.