Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
June 21st marks the beginning of summer. However, this has not prevented the temperature to top 100 degrees already. So it’s time for everyone to hit their backyard pools and the beautiful lakes Arizona has to offer. Families and friends will be swimming, boating, visiting water parks and heading off to their favorite vacation getaway. This is an appropriate time to discuss water safety and drowning prevention before the summer gets into full swing.
Too many times family members tell officers “I was only away for a few seconds.” Unfortunately, just a few seconds is all it takes for a child to drown. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of four in Arizona.
Many children drown in their backyard pools. Others drown or have “near drowning” incidents in spas, bathtubs, canals, ponds, lakes, toilets, and even buckets of water. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water. “Near drowning” tragedies can cause children to have permanent brain damage. Small children do not have the upper- body strength to lift themselves out of a dangerous water situation.
With this in mind I would like to share a few water safety strategies you can utilize at home and on vacation.
- Know where your children are at all times.
- Always have a designated “child watcher.”
- Never allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source.
- Use an approved fence/barrier to separate the pool from your house.
- Make sure pool gates are equipped with self-locking/self-latching features.
- Consider alarms and automatic interior door locks.
- Keep tables, chairs, boxes, ladders and toys away from pool fences.
- Place life saving devices near your pool such as flotation devices, first aid kits, a “reaching pole” and a cordless telephone.
- Make sure your children know how to swim.
- Make sure you and anyone responsible for watching your child are CPR trained (including grandparents, other siblings and babysitters).
Water Safety While on Vacation
- Enforce the same safety rules you set at home.
- Never allow your children to swim unsupervised in a hotel/motel pool. Do not assume someone else is watching your child.
- Where is the rescue equipment? Do you know how to use it? Does it work?
- Inspect the pool before you swim.
The good news is water related incidents can be prevented. It is your responsibility to educate your children about water safety. Summer is the time for vacations, but we can never take a vacation from water safety. If you are interested in CPR classes contact the Scottsdale Fire Department at 480-312-POOL.
Often we talk about locking our front doors, keeping our garage doors closed and securing our motor vehicles. It is also important to target harden our backyards as well. The following are a few tips you may find useful:
- Place a padlock on your side/rear gates.
- Secure your tool shed in the backyard.
- Turn on your rear patio lights at night.
- Use motion sensor lights to illuminate dark areas around your home.
- Insure your sliding/arcadia door has a wooden dowel or Charlie bar in the track.
- Activate your home alarm system. Consider glass break and/or motion sensors.
The Scottsdale Police Department
The Scottsdale Police Department has
excellent job opportunities in the
Police Officer, Police Aide, Communications, Detention Officers, Crime Lab, Records,
and Crime Scene Specialists.
Visit our website at
Shredding Event - Saturday May 26th at 7:00 am to 10:00 am at Wal-Mart; 15355 N. Northsight Blvd. Please Contact Officer Craig Abernethy for additional information
@ email@example.com .
Public Safety Teen Academy - Summer is just around the corner, it's not too early for teens 14 to 18 to start applying for the Public Safety Teen Academy, June 4-8, 2012. The class is limited to 40 participants and seats go quickly! The free program offers a total public safety hands-on experience, including exposure to police and fire training, tactics and job duties. For more information contact Det. Moag at 480-484-7112 or firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Desk of Commander Mike Rosenberger
As I was thinking about some topics for May’s Commander article, I came across an article written by Angela Tuck and thought it would be nice to pay a visit to the safety and security of the children and teens of the community. The long awaited summer break can bring trouble to our youth if they don’t stay busy. Here are a few suggestions to assist you in the quest to turn idle time into safe and “busy” summer.
Ideas for Summer
Summertime and its associated free time, is not so easy if you have kids to keep active and entertained when school is out. The summer months are a great time to keep the learning going by traveling, taking part in camps and visiting with family. Here are some tips from parents, educators and other experts about how to keep your children busy while they are out of school.
Plan and plant a vegetable, flower or herb garden. If you live in the city with no open space, plant your garden in pots. Be sure to ask at your local garden store or county extension service about the types of plants that grow best in your climate, or do your own research on the Internet. Be sure to take note of soil, sunlight and other conditions your plants will need to flourish.
Keep a journal. "I always tell my kids to journal about their summer vacation," said Wanda Leonard, a seventh grade teacher in Marietta, Ga. "When kids come back to school we always ask them to write about what they did and they say, 'Nothing.' Leonard has her 13-year-old son put together a book that includes his writing and photographs from summer vacation.
Challenge your kids to read a certain number of books in a specific time frame and write reports on what they've read. Books open a child's mind to a whole new world. Barnes and Noble and other bookstores have incentives for kids who read a certain number of books. Reading seven books and completing a reading journal may get you a free book at some stores. Check your local library to see what contests and incentives they offer.
Have your children and teenagers plan a "stay-cation." Make a list of places to visit in your town or in nearby cities. Consider having them research the costs of the activities, hours of operation, etc. Encourage them to check Web sites for special deals and coupons. Almost every attraction has special discounts available on certain days.
Children and teenagers can be packrats, just like adults. Show them how to turn old toys, books and clothing into cash by cleaning out their closets and having a yard sale. They can price the items, make signs and pocket the money they earn. They can sell water, lemonade, cookies and muffins to make even more cash.
Help an older relative or neighbor do chores. Volunteering makes people feel better about themselves, said entertainer and philanthropist Bill Cosby. During his commencement speech at Hampton University, Cosby urged graduates to find a student and become a mentor. May public libraries, museums and social service organizations offer volunteer opportunities for students.
Keep your mind and body healthy by taking advantage of summer camps and recreation activities. Check with your local YMCA or Boys & Girls Club of America. These organizations offer classes and camps geared toward healthy living and youth development. The Y has half day and all day camps that introduce children to the arts, t-ball and soccer, horseback riding and camping.
Take swimming lessons. Learning to swim will reduce your child's chances of drowning. Swimming is a skill people can use all their lives, said Laritha Johnson, an aquatics instructor at the Southside YMCA in Chicago. "We have 87-year-old seniors who may not be able to do anything else but they can swim," she said. Swimming is a great form of exercise. And the Y includes rescue skills as part of their classes, said Johnson.
Form a book club with friends. Most students have required reading lists over the summer. Why not pull out your books and compare notes in a casual format? Consider having a book club slumber party.
Travel with friends and relatives from different generations. Older people have a unique perspective on life and don't mind sharing it. Traveling with family strengthens those bonds. If you are blessed to have relatives who want to keep your children for an extended period of time in the summer, take advantage of the opportunity to take a break from parenting. Children can learn so much from their grandparents, particularly if they live in another part of the country.
Allow your children to be responsible for dinner once or twice a week. The summer is an ideal time to practice new recipes and children can pick up math skills while measuring the ingredients. Many simple recipes can be found on the Internet. Some supermarket chain offer recipe cards for free.
Commander Mike Rosenberger
Public Safety Community Contact Numbers
and E-mail Links
- Scottsdale Police Non-Emergency 480-312-5000
- Scottsdale Fire Department 480-312-8000
- SPD Drug Enforcement Hotline - Suspected illegal activity, 480-312-TIPS (Hot lines are not monitored)
- SPD Traffic Enforcement Hotline - chronic traffic problems, 480-312-CARS
- Code Enforcement 480-312-2546
- Child Safety Seat Installation 480-312-BABY
- CPR/First Aid Classes 480-312-1817
- Lockbox for Seniors Program 877-229-5042 Flyer