Arizona has a long history of child water-related incidents and remains second, only to Florida, in the highest number of child drownings in the US. The largest percentage of drowning deaths has been among children ages one through four years and there has been an increase in children ages 5 through 9 years old. Ninety-four percent of those child drowning deaths were preventable.


In an effort to reduce child drownings, near drownings and drain entrapments in our community, Safe Kids Pima County provides free pool and spa safety checks to families who have backyard pools and spas. Through the efforts of the Safe Kids Pima County coalition, community partners and the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona we ask you to join our effort in ensuring kids are safe in and around water.


Each April, Safe Kids Pima County partners with eight area schools to teach an integrative first-grade curriculum that reinforces the ABCs of water safety:

A = Adult

  • Do you maintain constant eye-to-eye supervision with children around ANY body of water (pool, bath, buckets, etc.)?
  • Have you assigned an adult to supervise children around ANY water, especially at parties?
  • Do you know that floaties or other inflatable floatation are NOT life jackets and should NEVER be substituted for adult supervision?
  • Have you posted the 911 emergency number, and both the home address and phone number on every phone?

B = Barriers

  • Is there a fence in good repair that separates your pool from the house and play yard?
  • Is the pool gate closed and locked?
  • Are all doors and windows leading to the pool area locked?
  • Is there any way a child could get into the pool, such as squeezing through a hole in the fence?
  • Have you emptied all containers that hold water and stored them upside down?
  • Is there a clear view (no trees or other obstacles) from the house to the pool or spa?
  • Are there chairs, tables or toys nearby that a child could use to climb over the pool fence?

C = Coast Guard Approved Life Vest and Classes

  • Anyone who does not know how to swim must wear a Coast Guard approved life vest.
  • Floaties are toys and do not count as a life vest.
  • You need to take swimming lessons so you can learn how to swim!
  • Older kids and adults should take CPR classes so they know what to do in case of an emergency.

Through funding secured by donations and grants, more than 800 children participate in this exciting life-saving program. Upon completion of the classroom teaching, all the schools come together for the Water Safety is for YOU! event at the Mulcahy YMCA at Kino Community Center. The children enjoy a day of song, interactive activities and rewards to celebrate their commitment to water safety.