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 April Pools Day  events will stress water safety

Apr. 5, 2003

Several water-safety events are scheduled next week in the West Valley as part of the annual of the annual observance of "April Pools Day."

The program takes aim at a child's fatal attraction to water. The goal is to prevent tragedy by emphasizing the need of keeping a close eye on kids.

"It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown," said Mike Tellef, a spokesman for the Peoria Fire Department.

There's no substitute for parental supervision of children and secure barriers about swimming pools, he said.

"Properly secured barriers can significantly reduce the risk of drownings," Tellef said.

One event, Water Safety Day, is set for 9 a.m. Thursday at Glendale Community College. More than 3,000 kids are expected to be brought to the event by school bus.

Sponsors include Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Central Arizona.

The event is held in memory of Weston Letter, a 3-year-old Gilbert boy who drowned in an unfenced pool in May 1998.

Peoria firefighters will help out in two events that are scheduled at city churches.

One of them is set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Community of Grace, 14120 N. 79th Ave. The other is at 10 p.m. next Saturday at South Peoria Baptist Church, 8900 W. Olive Ave.

An April Pools Day safety activity also is set for 11 a.m. next Saturday at Moon Valley Country Club, 151 W. Moon Valley Drive, in north Phoenix.

Authorities in the West Valley and elsewhere offer these suggestions for pool safety:
  • Make sure children are supervised at all times by an adult when in or near the water.

  • Always use approved personal flotation devices, rather than inflatable toys, to keep a child afloat.

  • Do not consider children to be "drown proof" because they have had swimming lessons.

  • Keep a phone poolside. Don't leave children unattended while talking on the phone or answering a door.

  • Remove toys from pool area when they're not in use.

  • Learn CPR, especially if you own a pool.
  • Reproduced with permission from:
    The Arizona Republic
    By Brent Whiting
    ©
    Copyright 2003 Arizona Republic

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