4 children have drowned in metro Phoenix this year. Here's how to keep your family safe

Four children and two adults have died by drowning in the Phoenix area so far this year, prompting city safety officials to raise their alertness and leaving residents concerned about future incidents.

In Phoenix, three children under the age of five and one adult drowned, resulting in three deaths, according to Children's Safety Zone's 2024 report, which monitors drowning incidents. Glendale and Peoria both reported fatal child drownings. Scottsdale reported a fatal growing of an adult as well.

Many of the incidents involved backyard swimming pools, but in one case, a child drowned while left unattended in a bathtub. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, children can drown in just 1 inch of water.

On Feb. 9, Peoria police were dispatched to a call regarding an unknown problem near 93rd Avenue and West Los Gatos Drive. Upon arrival, officers initiated life-saving measures on a 3-year-old boy discovered unresponsive in a backyard swimming pool. The child was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Phoenix police responded shortly after noon on Feb. 10 to an apartment complex near West Southern Avenue. Officers discovered an unresponsive 5-month-old baby who had been left alone in a bathtub for "a period of time."

Phoenix fire personnel administered emergency treatment but the baby passed away at the hospital, as reported by the police.

The Glendale Police Department confirmed the death of an 18-month-old girl after she was retrieved from a residential pool on Feb. 19. The Glendale Fire Department stated that efforts were made to rescue the child, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police mentioned that the child was a visitor at the residence where the drowning occurred and noted that the pool area was fenced.

When reached for comment, Capt. Rob McDade said it is “always a concern” to see a spike in drownings but noted the sample size was small.

“This is not the way we would like to start off the year in regards to drowning emergencies in Phoenix,” the captain said.

In 2023, Children's Safety Zone reported 133 incidents resulting in 57 deaths in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

The Phoenix Fire Department offered the following tips to prevent future drownings:

If you find someone in trouble in the water

  • Yell for help and pull the person out of the water.

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately! Stay on the line.

  • Begin CPR.

  • If you are not trained, follow the instructions from the 9-1-1 operator until help arrives.

How to prevent drowning

  • Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house.

  • Never allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source. This includes bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, and canals.

  • Have life-saving devices near the pool, such as a hook, pole, or flotation device.

  • Keep large objects such as tables, chairs, tricycles, or ladders away from pool fences.

  • Never leave children unattended in or around a pool. Always have a designated child watcher.

  • Do not allow children to play in the pool area. Store all toys outside of the pool area.

  • If you leave the pool area, take the child/children with you.​

Pool safety tips

  • Learn to swim.

  • Never swim alone.

  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or medications.

  • Never swim when you hear thunder or see lightning.

  • Never dive into an unfamiliar body of water.

  • Learn CPR

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 4 metro Phoenix children have drowned in 2024: What to know