Apr 262011

CHANDLER, AZ – More than 1,000 first grade students will learn the ABC’s of water safety during the 12th annual Water Safety Day hosted by Chandler Gilbert Community College.

A large pool filled with warm water offers a fun way to spend a day outside the classroom, but the lessons learned Tuesday will likely save lives.

Each year, children in 100 Maricopa County die in water related accents. Twenty of them lose their lives in the water. Already this year, two children have lost their lives to drowning, and peak pool season hasn’t even begun.

Water Safety Day aims to change the statistics. The event is organized by Water Watchers, a program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital founded by Druann Letter.

Letter lost her young son, Weston, in 1998 when he drowned in his family’s swimming pool.

Today, Druann Letter keeps the memory of her son alive by showing others how to prevent such a tragedy.

During Water Safety Day, the children will learn how to be safe around water. They’ll learn rescue swimming techniques and how to look out for themselves and others.

The ABC’s of water safety summarizes it all.

“A” is for adult supervision. Children who have access to water should have eye to eye contact with adults at all times. “B” is for barrier. Fences and door locks act as a second line of defense by restricting a child’s access to the water. “C” is for classes. Adults should have current CPR training and children should have swimming lessons.

As the children begin to splash in the swimming pool, Druann Letter says she wants parents to know how quickly their children can slip away.

“It can happen so fast,” she said. “You’re never supposed to bury your children.”

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has more information on its website to keep families water safe.

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