Health & Safety

June 1, 2012

Critical Days of Summer

Stop drownings, silent killer

by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


Drowning is the leading cause of death in Arizona among children 1 to 4 years old.

By the numbers 

90 – People on average drown in Arizona each year

44 – Water-related incidents have been reported in Maricopa County so far this year

10 – of those 44 were deaths, including four children

2 – Arizona’s rank for water-related incidents. Florida is No. 1.

0 – Excuses. Drowning is preventable.


“An Airman is just as susceptible to becoming a drowning statistic as the average Arizona resident. Unfortunately, the 56th Fighter Wing knows this all too well as we have experienced a drowning-related fatality in the last few years. Remember to never turn away from children around pools, lakes, etc., as two seconds can be too long.”

– Tech. Sgt. Elliott Velez, 56th Fighter Wing Ground Safety technician 


How it happens: 

Supervision problem
No barrier to pool
Gate or latch fails


Top 10 ways to prevent drowning

10. Enroll children in swim lessons

9. Don’t drink alcohol while boating

8. Isolate pool perimeter with a fence and self-closing gate

7. Keep a telephone in pool area

6. Become certified in CPR

5. In boats, always wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest

4. If a child is missing, look in the pool first

3. Never leave a child unattended in a pool, hot tub or bath tub – even for a moment

2. Teach children and guests proper water safety rules

1. Never swim alone

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