To date this year in the Valley of the Sun, there have been 71 water-related incidents involving children. Of those, nine were fatal, and approximately six non-fatal drowning victims will suffer a lifelong disability.
Drowning risk peaks in the hottest summer months, and humid August days combined with the distractions of back-to-school create a higher-than-average risk for drowning.
That’s why advocates, volunteers, and leaders across Arizona will unite this month, with the ninth annual “Drowning Impact Awareness Month” effort. The statewide purple ribbon campaign encourages awareness and action, and is coordinated by Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
This year, the campaign will include:
• More than 40,000 purple ribbons already distributed to supporters statewide.
• Formal proclamations signed by Gov. Jan Brewer and mayors across the state, many presented at local council meetings.
• Nearly 1,400 purple ribbons tied in the trees in front of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, to represent the number of children involved in water related incidents in the Valley since 2000.
• Banners donated by SRP Safety Connection, hanging in public buildings, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, and YMCA facilities.
• Involvement, support and educational events from businesses, schools, and the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona.
• Briefs compiled from staff and wire reports.