Sep 052011

If you have a pool, you’re probably going to be spending at least part of the next few days in it.

But every person who spends time with children needs to realize having a pool, or any water near kids, is a huge responsibility.

“Justin and Eric were born July 12, 2007,” remembered Elisa Hart.

It was a happy surprise when Hart found out she was having twins, but it was a blessing that would be short lived.

Eric was just 2 1/2-years-old when he drowned in the backyard pool.

Hart still has trouble talking about it and admitting what went wrong that day.

“There was a piece of screen dug up by my dog,” she said.

A big enough chunk of the window’s screen was missing for Eric to climb through.

“There’s just enough space between the Arizona room and the pool, so he knocked himself unconscious, broke his collarbone and slipped right into the pool,” she said.

A year later, there’s a constant reminder that where there’s one little boy there should be two.

Smiling pictures push the Harts to do the impossible — talk about the tragedy in the hope of educating others.

“I hate to say it, but learn from what happened to me,” Hart said.

“It’s been pretty awful this year,” said Lori Schmidt with the Drowning Prevention Coalition of AZ.

But is that unusual?

As far as officials being called out to potential drownings, Arizona is right on track with about 30 by this time of year across the board for the past five years.

But this year, the number of deaths has doubled.

CBS 5 News wanted to know why.

“We have families who are stressed. We have families moving in with their parents,” Schmidt explained.

Schmidt said the economy is a big factor because people are constantly worrying and not as focused as they should be.

She said some are relying on grandparents and other family members to help raise kids, people who might not be as savvy when it comes to safety.

“You have to assume this can happen to you, and you need to know you can prevent it,” she said.

Schmidt said most drownings aren’t a lack of supervision, but a lapse of supervision.

Make sure all your safety precautions are up to date — pool fences, window and door locks and that your window screens are in tact.

And if you do notice a child is missing, check the pools and bathtubs first.

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