Alarming Number of Drownings in Arizona Brings Dignitaries, Hospital Together to Highlight the Importance of Water Safety
Since Jan. 1, 2011, eight children and one teen have drowned in Maricopa County. In a spring filled with child drowning headlines, and in a community approaching a holiday known for increased drowning risk, the donation of more than $27,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Water Safety Program and $11,000 to the United Phoenix Firefighter Charities’ Adopt-a-Pool Fence program is big news. The donation will allow for expanded and new programs, to teach families how to prevent child drownings.
The funds were raised at the annual Margarita Bash Charity “Fun-Raiser” event, held at the home of Phoenix City Councilman Claude Mattox. The event featured live music, as well as a silent and live auction. The check will be presented on Wednesday, May 25, at 9:30 am, in the Main Lobby of the new Hospital tower at Phoenix Children’s, located at 1919 E. Thomas, Phoenix. Media can park in the circle driveway.
The check presentation and safety tips are timed to address Memorial Weekend, a high-risk time for child drownings. Corrie Simzyk will share her experience with the drowning loss of her daughter Morgan at age two, and the very latest tips and strategies will be available for families.
The Water Watchers program provides year-round efforts to educate the community, including the launch of a new program, “Playing it Safe.” This program features interactive presentations for caregivers of children most at risk for drowning, in a brief and informal setting. “Playing it Safe” will be offered as a “Train the Trainer” program, involving community partners and volunteers across the Valley. More information can be found at www.phoenixchildrens.com.
The Adopt-a-Pool Fence program was created by the United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association (UPFF) to prevent child drownings throughout Maricopa County. The program provides donated pool fences to families in need, creating a barrier between children and backyard pools. A properly installed and maintained pool fence is an important factor in the prevention of child drownings, along with adult supervision, classes in CPR for adults, and swimming lessons for children at the appropriate age. More information can be found at www.saverkids.org.
About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital 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. Though Phoenix Children’s is one of the ten largest freestanding children’s hospitals in the country, it 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 345 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. For more information, visit the hospital’s web site at www.phoenixchildrens.com.