Spring Brings Child Drownings; Return of Water Safety Day
Phoenix, Ariz. (March 12, 2012) -- The drowning of a Phoenix child is an all-too familiar headline as the weather heats up this spring – last year altogether in the Valley of the Sun, 17 children and three teens drowned. Arizona is ranked second in the nation for child drownings.
While far too many children have drowned here, an amazing story also waits to be told: Arizona is home to some of the nation’s most recognized and respected drowning prevention programs. Working together, advocates have brought innovative programs and messages to the community, and the child drowning rate in recent years is at some of the lowest per capita levels in twenty years as a result.
It all begins at the Valley of the Sun’s “Official Kickoff to Swimming Season,” Valley Toyota Dealer’s Water Safety Day, also presented by SRP Safety Connection. Nearly 1,100 first grade students from around the Valley will attend, as part of a seven-week learning process, including curriculum. This year, the 13th annual Water Safety Day will be Tuesday, March 27, 2012, from 9 am to 1:30 pm, at Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Avenue, Mesa.
The effort is organized by Water Watchers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and draws national interest and support. Mesa Fire Department and Mesa Community College will act as hosts of the effort, providing significant assistance and support.
This one-of-a-kind celebration has an abundance of strong visuals and activities, including:
- Live rescue demonstrations and lessons, in the crystal blue water of our heated swimming pool
- The Valley’s most unified display of public safety support with fire trucks and rescue boats
- Special Build-A-Reminder workshops with La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, which will allow children to take home crafty reminders of the lessons they’ve learned
- A high-energy singing firefighter show, puppetry show, and a large Kid Zone carnival area
Early morning media opportunities are available - local sports figures and celebrities often attend.
** Please note: This event is NOT open to the public. Due to the size of the event, we will be credentialing members of the press. Please provide the number of staff who will attend in advance, so credentials will be on hand. **
About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital, ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, is Arizona’s only licensed children’s hospital, providing world-class care in more than 40 pediatric specialties to children from throughout the state and region. Phoenix Children’s is in the midst of a major expansion to meet the needs of the Southwest’s rapid population growth. The signature element of the expansion is a new 11-story, 750,000-square-foot tower which will enable the hospital to grow from 426 licensed beds today to a total of 626 licensed beds once the project is complete. The hospital’s expansion also includes an aggressive physician recruitment effort and new satellite centers in high growth areas of the Valley.