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Banner Health Urges Water Safety Awareness

12 Children Drowning Fatalities in the Maricopa and Pinal counties in 2023

MESA (April 30, 2024) - With summer quickly approaching, Banner Children’s at Desert is urging families to stay informed and vigilant about water safety. According to the Children’s Safety Zone, in 2023 there were 12 drowning fatalities between ages 6-12 years-old, and from January to April of this year, there have been 5 drowning fatalities between ages 0-5 years-old in the Maricopa and Pinal counties.

Tracey J. Fejt, Nurse and Trauma Outreach Coordinator at Banner Children’s at Desert, emphasizes the need for ongoing water safety education. Fejt states, “Drowning is a preventable tragedy, it is crucial that families take proactive measures to keep their children safe around water. Especially during the summer months when families are more likely to be around pools, lakes, and even a bathtub, it only takes a moment for a drowning incident to occur. By remaining vigilant, staying informed on water safety best practices, and ensuring proper supervision, we can reduce the risk of drowning incidents in our community.”

Here are some tips for parents to keep their children safe around water:

  • Never leave children unattended near water. Always designate a responsible adult to supervise children while they are swimming or playing near water.
  • Teach children how to swim at an early age.
  • Install proper barriers around pools and hot tubs, such as fences with self-closing and self-latching gates, to prevent unsupervised access by children.
  • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of an emergency.
  • Adults and children should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for their weight and size in lakes and rivers.

By following these simple tips, parents can help keep their children safe and prevent water-related accidents. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, so vigilance is crucial. 

Banner Desert Medical Center is a nonprofit hospital in Mesa, Arizona, providing a range of inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency services, Level I trauma care, cancer care, heart care, orthopedics, women and infant services, rehabilitation, neurological care and more. The medical center is one of the most comprehensive hospitals in Arizona and serves as a regional referral center in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix. The medical campus is also home to Banner Children's at Desert. Both facilities are owned and operated by Banner Health, the largest provider of health care services in Arizona. For more information, visit


Banner Desert at Childrens Banner Health Pediatric Trauma

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