Beat the heat

Spencer Welch, 10, spins in the air as he jumps off the diving board into the 50-meter pool at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

16-month old child was still hospitalized late last week after a near-drowning incident that took place in Oro Valley on July 22. 

According to a release sent out by the Oro Valley Police Department, the child’s mother discovered the boy at the bottom of the pool, and after pulling him from the water, began CPR while the Golder Ranch Fire Department was en route. 

Upon arrival, Golder Ranch responders continued resuscitation efforts and transported the child to University Medical Center. 

Details about how the child ended up in the pool are still unclear.

As August (Drowning Awareness Month) approaches, local fire departments are reminding the public of water safety tips that can help save a life.

First and foremost is proper supervision.

“We’re challenging the public to watch children around the pool,” said Golder Ranch Community Relations Manager Anne-Marie Braswell. “We are human, and sometimes we become distracted, so it is important to have a designated water watcher.”

A water watcher should be someone that is focused solely on monitoring any activity around pools or bodies of water.

Barriers are another necessary preventative measure. Gates should be self-latching and self-closing, and there should be no way to climb over or under the barrier. 

In the case a child does become submerged in water, prior swim lessons may prove a life saver.

“A child is never too young to begin lessons,” said Braswell. “There are classes for infants, toddlers, and school age children.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Braswell says it is never too late to begin lessons.

“If you’re an adult or elderly individual, it’s never a bad idea to take a refresher course,” said Braswell. “It will add another level of confidence.”

To date, this is the eighth drowning or near-drowning incident in Pima County this year. One of those was fatal.

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