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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Three drowning calls, in three days, all of them are children from across the Phoenix area.
Two are in the hospital, and the third did not survive.
The number of drownings and near-drownings is already staggering, even before the official start of summer.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had this many drownings this close together and it really raises those alarm bells that we have to be more vigilant about kids around water,” says Scottsdale Fire Department spokesperson Lori Schmidt.
On June 16, a one-year-old was found unresponsive in a bathtub in El Mirage. The toddler was under the care of babysitter Cynthia Gaddy at the time, and police say she left baby Lorenzo and her 3-year-old sibling in the tub unsupervised.
Gaddy has been arrested.
Three days later, Lorenzo’s parents updated the GoFundMe pagesaying in part, “Lorenzo has had no brain activity and was disconnected from the EEG machine this morning.”
On June 17, a The 16-month-old boy was pulled out of a pool in Phoenix. Firefighters say he was in critical condition from the accident and died at the hospital.
On June 18, a 3-year-old boy was pulled from a pool at a home in Chandler. No details were released, but authorities say the boy is fighting for his life.
“This is something that we don’t need to be dealing with. This is something that we’ve been saying for years and years and years. It is something that is preventable,” Schmidt says.
She’s the former president of the Drowning Coalition of Arizona and says the first thing should do if you ever see a situation like this, even before calling 911, is start CPR, saying that time is really the essence.
“Immediately start CPR. Give five breaths, and then those compressions and do the two breaths after that over and over and over again,” she explained.
Schmidt says there are simple steps to follow when it comes to kids and water. Make sure there is always adult supervision, put barriers like fences around any pools, and teach kids how to swim.
“Kids are super interested in water. It doesn’t matter what age they are, and the challenge with little, little kids is they don’t understand the danger of what water is, they just know it’s fun,” Schmidt said.
Supervision is the most crucial component when it comes to kids in the water, Schmidt says.