Child Crisis Arizona, Salt River Project and United Phoenix Firefighter Charities are working together to prevent childhood drownings through the 2023 pool fence safety program.
As the weather warms up, swimming is top of mind for children and families looking for a fun way to escape the heat. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 4 in Arizona.
“The pool fence safety program is a wonderful opportunity to create awareness and keep children safe around water,” Caitlin Sageng, director of special projects and family resources at Child Crisis Arizona said in a release. “The program provides funding for families that are financially unable to afford pool barriers and have young children.”
Families living in Maricopa County can apply to be awarded a new pool fence at no cost if they meet certain eligibility criteria. The application process officially opened and closes on May 26.
“As the largest provider of water in the Valley for the past century, water safety is paramount at SRP. Research shows that secure pool fencing can prevent about 75 percent of water-related drownings of unsupervised children,” said SRP Community Engagement Strategist Rori Minor. “SRP is committed to improving the quality of life for the people we serve. Through our various drowning-prevention outreach programs and contributions, we hope to help provide parents with the education and resources they need to keep their children safe around water.”
The total sponsorship is $35,000 — $25,000 funded by SRP and the UPFC pledges to raise $10,000 to support the program.
“The installation of pool barriers continues to be a key factor in the prevention of child drownings, said David Ramirez with United Phoenix Firefighters Charities. “There is nothing more aggressive in preventing tragedies than putting in a pool fence. Child drownings are truly a community problem. We are encouraged to have organizations like SRP and Child Crisis Arizona step up and lead this effort.”
Applications are available in both English and Spanish. Families may apply on the Child Crisis Arizona website, childcrisisaz.org/pool-fence-safety-program.