Yuma, Arizona - Today, just before 10:30 am, Yuma Fire Department personnel were sent to a home in south-central Yuma regarding a drowning that had just occurred. YFD Paramedics arrived to find CPR being done on a 2-year-old male by a family member. The child had been found unresponsive in a backyard pool.
Once removed from the pool CPR was given until Paramedics arrived. Resuscitation efforts were continued as the child was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.
The child and his mother were visiting from out of state. The child had been in the house and was not seen leaving. A door and a doggie door both lead into the backyard where the in ground pool is located. It was not known how long the child had been in the pool prior to being found. The pool was fenced but the gate was not secure.
Yuma is now dealing with three very similar tragedies this summer, with a 2-year old and a 3-year old drowning in backyard pools in June. There are no words to express the sorrow these families are enduring, we all grieve together as a community when tragedies like these occur.
Arizona’s child drowning rate is often one of the highest in the nation. Children 4 years old and younger are in the highest risk group for drowning deaths. There are a few basic steps to reduce this risk, we call them the ABCs of Drowning Prevention.
“A” is for Adult supervision. If children are around water (any water, not just a backyard pool), they need constant, responsible, undistracted, adult supervision. Designate a “Water Watcher” whose only responsibility is to watch the children. If that person has to leave the area, someone else takes over or everyone leaves the pool area with them.
“B” is for Barriers. Every pool should be enclosed by a barrier fence at least 4-5 feet high. It should have a self-closing, self-latching gate that must be kept closed at all times. Door and pool alarms are also added security (and Please keep doggie doors in mind!).
“C” is for Classes. Learn how to perform CPR in the event that the unthinkable does happen. In addition, although we cannot “waterproof” our children, swim classes can also help.