Sep 6, 2013 1:00 AM by Kristi Tedesco
TUCSON - In 2013 one child died in a backyard swimming pool in Pima County. Another 15 kids nearly drowned.
We launched the Kristi's Kids News 4 Tucson Lifesaver program in 2010 after seven children died the year before in the Tucson area.
Each year the Lifesaver campaign gets bigger. We've teamed up with many partners who want to help get the message out about the A.B.C.'s of swim safety.
This year we launched in April --- the beginning of swim season---and Thursday Sept. 5th is our final News 4 Tucson Lifesaver story for the 2013 swim season.
Tracey Koslowski with Safe Kids-Pima County and Drexell Heights Fire provided statistics to remind everyone how serious water related accidents are in the United States.
Based on 2012 numbers, Arizona now ranks 4th in child drownings, down from 2nd in previous years.
However across the country swimming injuries increased by 20%.
Every 6 minutes a child is injured while swimming.
Throughout our Kristi's Kids News 4 Tucson Lifesaver campaign, we emphasized how important adult supervision is to keep kids safe around water.
Most drownings are in backyard pools. Barriers reduce the risk.
Kristi's Kids and Pool Guard of Tucson gave away 5 pool fences in 2013; 20 since 2009.
Drowning is the #1 cause of injury related death for children under 5. Swim lessons reduce the risk.
This year we teamed up with Y.M.C.A. of Southern Arizona and held three SwimFest events at Y.M.C.A. swimming pools. At each SwimFest 100 kids received a free swim lesson and vouchers for more.
We also gave away 15 family four-packs to Legoland this year for our coloring contest.
Drowning is preventable and simple as A.B.C.
C=CLASSES, swim lessons for little ones, and CPR classes for older kids and parents.
Remember drownings can happen any time of the year. It's still warm enough for swimming. Besides swimming pools, bath tubs and buckets pose a risk so be vigilant.
We want to thank all of our partners who helped out in swim season 2013. News 4 Tucson Lifesavers is one of the many ways KVOA helps make our community a safer place to live.