PHOENIX – According to a recent report, 44 children died from drowning in Arizona in 2021, twice the number of the previous year.
The report, led by the Arizona Child Fatality Review Team, found that drowning was the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
“This year’s report is particularly devastating for us,” said Tiffaney Isaacson, senior injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The Arizona Department of Health Services report annually tracks all causes of child deaths in the state while aiming to reduce preventable child deaths through a thorough, multidisciplinary review process.
“So as we come into the holiday season and a time when there will be a lot of family reunions, we really want caregivers to understand the importance of protecting their children from drowning.”
Issacson works with parents on visits to healthy children to keep caregivers on the offense when it comes to child safety. Your goal is to set up as many barriers as possible to ensure children stay safe.
“We have to make sure that [pool] The gate is closed,” Isaacson said. “We need to make sure the doors are locked and we need to set an alarm on the back door if we have that ability, so we know when children are leaving the home without adult supervision.”
The injury prevention specialist stressed that it can be difficult to remember when it starts getting cold, in addition to remembering extra chores during the holiday season.
“Sometimes being with our family relieves our stress and sometimes being with our family increases our stress.
“If you’re having a difficult day, it’s not a day to be around the pool area with the kids. So sometimes you might want to decide on a family reunion in a house that doesn’t have a pool,” she said.
Or if you’re near the pool and tired, go home, make a video for the kids, and take some time for yourself, Isaacson suggested.
“Because when caregivers feel present, rested, and have the support they need, they can better supervise their children,” she says.
But when a barrier is broken, there are still ways parents can work to keep their child safe.
The most effective way to prevent a child from drowning is to teach them to swim after they turn one year old, according to the report.
Other top causes of deaths considered preventable among children last year were guns, suicide and car accidents.