A Potentially Deadly Combination

ThermometerAs temperatures continue to hover near 110 degrees, many people may seek relief in a backyard or nearby pool. And that has safety officials warning folks about the potential dangers the water may pose…..particularly when it comes to kids.

The Fox10 Phoenix Facebook page points out that our state’s child and teen drowning rate is about 30 percent higher than the national average. Three young children have died in Valley area drownings in just the past 10 days alone.

From AzFamily.com:

It’s been a heartbreaking few days for three Valley families. Three young children have died in three separate drowning incidents.


Phoenix Fire Capt. Reda Bigler said there’s no rhyme or reason to explain the sudden jump in drowning calls, but it is a year-round problem in Arizona.

“Whether it’s the distractions from going back to school – it’s hard to say what the cause is,” said Bigler. “But we do see the numbers ramp up when we get into August. It all comes down to supervision.”

According to AzCentral.com, there was almost a fourth tragedy yesterday if not for a young child’s CPR trained uncle. “A 2-year-old boy was saved by his uncle after he was found lying face down in a north Scottsdale swimming pool Monday, according to the Scottsdale Fire Department. The boy was not breathing when he was pulled from the water. Officials said his uncle — a registered nurse — started performing CPR.”

diamAugust is Drowning Impact Awareness Month in Arizona and safety officials are hoping to call more attention to water-related dangers. The Children’s Safety Zone released a fact sheet that includes the ABC’s of Water Safety.

  • Adult supervision when children have access to water
  • Barriers between children and water
  • Classes in CPR for adults, swimming lessons for children at the appropriate age

A recent Water Safety Expo in Tucson was also designed to help train people about water safety rules…..and to point out that while much of the focus is on keeping young children safe, adults can be drowning victims too. In fact, according to a Fox10 Phoenix story, a former Olympic runner may have been the latest drowning victim in our state.

David Torrence, 31, was found at the bottom of the pool at Center Court Condominiums near Scottsdale and Thomas roads around 7:30 a.m., Scottsdale police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Torrence, a University of California-Berkeley alum, left his home in Malibu, California, to train in Arizona a few weeks ago, according to a police press release.

He originally ran for the United States Olympic team, but ended up switching and running for Peru, his mother’s home country, in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Let us know how you think we can curb the number of drownings in our state. Is your community doing anything unique to bring attention to this problem? If so, let us know what it is! Finding innovative solutions to the health issues facing Arizonans s another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!




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