Updated Apr 1, 2014 - 6:32 pm
Health, safety officials urge pool safety
PHOENIX -- During the first three months of 2014, there have been 16 pediatric near drowning in Maricopa County, all of which have involved kids under 12. Five cases were fatal.
That has Phoenix Fire Department, Salt River Project and Banner Health urging water safety as the summer months approach.
Phoenix Fire Division Chief Shelly Jamison said that April will be "April Pools Month" and there will be several water safety events designed to spread their message.
"It's simple -- prevention is the key, it's the only key," she said. "You need adult supervision, barriers and you need to know CPR."
As part of April Pools Month, SPR has produced 15,000 water safety DVDs that are available to the public and Banner Health also has free water safety kits that can help in the event of an emergency.
Nurse Tracey Fejt with Banner Health said during a possible drowning, time is of the essence and knowing what to do can save lives.
"The less time the brain gets oxygen then the more damage is going to be done," Fejt said. "Truly getting CPR started on scene makes a huge difference."
She encouraged people to learn CPR, but also said the water safety kits include cards that can help guide someone through the process.
Phoenix Fire recommended people to designate an adult life guard on duty at family events, place fences and gates around pools and spas and always keep a close eye on kids around water.