Citizen Staff Writer
Summer means endless hours splashing in the pool for some families.
It can also mean injury and death.
In Tucson last year, there were two drownings and nine near drownings, according to the Tucson Fire Department. There has been one drowning this year.
To bring information about water safety to families, the 2008 Summer Splashdown will be held Saturday at Fort Lowell Pool, 2900 N. Craycroft Road.
The event will feature classes on water safety techniques, CPR and how to use safety equipment.
There will also be stations set up around the pool where people can learn more about safety.
“It’s a family event where we hope families come so they can learn what to do in certain situations,” said Billy Sassi, aquatics manager for Tucson Parks & Recreation. “They will learn basic things that will make the summer a lot safer for families.”
According to Sassi, Arizona is in the top five when it comes to the numbers of childhood drownings.
“A lot of this is due to lack of supervision,” Sassi said. “We like to talk to parents about the little things they can do to watch kids in their private pools and on vacation.”
Public pools around the city have lifeguards on duty, but the Splashdown teaches parents how to make home pools safer.
Norm Carlton, public information office for the Tucson Fire Department, said putting a fence around the pool and never leaving kids alone in the pool are among the rules of prevention.
“We call this event pool safety, but it’s really an all-encompassing drowning prevention,” Carlton said. “We want to make citizens aware that children are not waterproof and that drowning is a silent killer.”
Carlton said it is important that everyone in the family knows how to swim, not just children.
He said parents should also know first-aid measures.
Carlton said the only way to prevent drownings is to have parents watch their children.
“It’s one of those things we cannot stress enough,” he said. “You can never be too cautious or too safe.”
Learn to swim
Making sure your child is a competent swimmer is one way to prevent drowning.
There are many locations in Tucson that provide swim lessons. Among them are:
• Sunshine Swim School – 886-6005
• Jim Mance Swim Club – 751-4332
• Swim Girl – 219-9060
If you go
What: 2008 Summer Splashdown
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fort Lowell Pool, 2900 N. Craycroft Road