Media Contact: Lori Schmidt, Public Education Officer
(480) 312-1817 office or lschmidt@ScottsdaleAZ.gov
The numbers are grim: between 2000 and 2007, 243 Arizona children drowned. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for all children in Arizona between 2000 and 2007, and top cause for children between one and five. To date this year in Maricopa County alone, nine of the 55 children involved in water-related incidents have died.
Going into August, the risk is likely to increase. Scorching weather and the changes in routine that come with back-to-school can cause distraction for parents. And, in as little as four to six minutes under water, significant neurological injury can occur to a child.
But Arizona is a state of resourceful and determined citizens–it takes toughness to live in 115 degree weather, after all. And a simple, tiny purple ribbon is a symbol of our resilience and determination.
Arizonans unite this August with the Seventh Annual “Drowning Impact Awareness Month” effort. The statewide purple ribbon campaign encourages awareness and action.
Scottsdale is supporting the effort again this year with purple ribbons available at fire stations, police district offices, aquatic centers and libraries. SPD Patrol and SFD support vehicles will also sport purple magnet ribbons.
Eldorado and McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Centers will host special events honoring DIAM from 2-4 p.m., Aug. 7. Families will be able to participate in water safety activities and observe a water rescue featuring lifeguards, Scottsdale Fire Department, and PMT Ambulance.
“We begin our push for water safety in the spring as temperatures heat up and the water is inviting. We must address the issue again in August to remind ourselves as the summer winds down and children go back to school that we must remain vigilant,” says Lori Schmidt, SFD Public Education Officer and President of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona. “Keep your eyes on children; maintain all barriers to water; and know CPR.”