Staying afloat
: Summer swim lessons begin this week, city promotes safety awareness - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Staying afloat
: Summer swim lessons begin this week, city promotes safety awareness

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Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:13 am | Updated: 7:25 am, Tue Sep 3, 2013.

As temperatures keep creeping into the triple digits this week, public pools around Ahwatukee Foothills are starting their summer sessions to keep kids cool.


But along with the fun, a need for safety is also urged as the community saw a near drowning of a 4-year-old boy two weekends ago.


According to the Phoenix Fire Department, the near drowning happened around 3:30 p.m. on May 26 near Pecos Road and 27th Avenue.


The boy was pulled from a backyard pool, taken to an area hospital and was in “stable” condition, according to Capt. Jonathan Jacobs in an ABC 15 report.


Jacobs said the incident wasn’t due to lack of supervision or barriers, but the boy became unresponsive while in the pool.


Lifeguard Patti O’Brien of the YMCA in Tempe, said parents should always stay “an arm’s length away” from young children while in the pool, and that safety measures go a long way.


“Other people’s homes are where most incidents happen,” said O’Brien. “We really want to be careful how long kids are in the water and how they feel.”


The Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA and Pecos Pool have started their summer swim sessions for kids of all ages and adults.


Infant classes are also available that teach babies, starting from 6 months old, how to turn over in the water as well as adaptive aquatics for those with special needs.


“Sometimes older kids don’t feel secure floating on their back, but it’s what saves their lives,” O’Brien said.


According to Children Safety Zone, 15 deaths, including four children, have resulted from nearly 45 water-related incidents this year in Maricopa and Pinal counties.


The Phoenix Fire Department accounts for 19 of those incidents and eight of the fatalities.


Pecos Pool, 17010 S. 48th St., will be hosting the Itty Bitty Beach Party on June 28, a free water safety event for the community, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
“

These are events where people can see CPR demonstrations and get the opportunity to swim,” said David Urbinato, a parks and recreation department spokesman.


The Ahwatukee Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Road, will have swim lessons going on until Aug. 1.
Pecos Pool started its first summer session this week, which goes through next week, The next session will be June 17-28.


Urbinato said the city wants parents to know that proper lessons are one of the pillars for swim safety.
“We really try to step up in making sure kids know what to do when they find themselves in the water,” he said.


With affordable prices at about $15 for eight sessions, Urbinato urged parents to start lessons for their kids at any age.


“You can’t over stress how helpful that can be,” he said.


For more information about local swim classes and events, visit valleyymca.org/ahwatukee, phoenix.gov/parks/pools, or ahwatukeehoa.com.


• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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