Making a Difference in Child Drowning Prevention

Phoenix Children's Hospital - Water Watchers

As another hot summer approaches in the Valley, our minds are brought back to the safety of our children around water. Sadly, our beautiful spring weather also signals the time of year when the number of child drownings begins to rise. For the past 14 years, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® of Arizona has partnered with Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s – Water Watchers® program and their Annual Water Safety Day.

Water Safety Day is the Valley of the Sun’s official Kickoff to Swimming Season. This year, the 14th Annual Water Safety Day was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at South Mountain Community College. Through the support of 37 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® of Arizona volunteers; nearly 1,200 first grade students from around the Valley attended, as part of a seven-week learning process, with curriculum lessons in the classroom.

No issue cuts to the heart of a community more than the tragedy of a child drowning. This one-of-a-kind celebration had an abundance of strong visuals and activities, including:

  • Special Build-A-Reminder workshops which allowed children to take home crafty reminders of the lessons they’ve learned
  • Live rescue demonstrations and water safety lessons, in a heated swimming pool
  • The Valley’s most unified display of public safety support with fire trucks from the greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area
  • A high-energy singing firefighter show, puppetry show, and a large Kid Zone carnival area

Why is water safety so important?

Spring temperatures increase drowning risk, and last year, 20 children drowned in the Valley of the Sun, with about another 8 children seriously injured. The number of children who drowned in Arizona in 2011 was five times greater than the number killed by fire or burns. But families can protect their children, and the very latest safety strategies will be shared by experts at Water Safety Day.

Special Thanks to the Apache Junction Fire District

About Water Watchers

Weston Letter

On May 31, 1998, Weston Letter (3 years-old) drowned in his family’s swimming pool. Family members and friends of the Letter family began Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Water Watchers programs to honor Weston’s memory and teach the community that tragedy knows no boundaries. His story reminds us of the importance of water safety for all children. Read Weston’s Story.

Visit the Water Watchers Web page for more information on the program and how to keep your kids safe around water or download the “Water Safety is for YOU” presentation for first-graders.

Teach your children the A B C ‘s of Water Safety!

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