Lifeguards are trained to help swimmers of all ability levels. (Photo by Christopher West/Cronkite News)

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Dangerous waters: Adults drown at twice the rate of children in Arizona


Christina Tetreault
Cronkite News

SCOTTSDALE – It takes a split second for the fun of splashing in a pool or lake to turn into danger, for children and adults.

In Arizona, adults drown twice as often as children, according to Lori Schmidt, president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition.

This year, 23 people have died in water related fatalities, including 16 adults, according to Children’s Safety Zone’s Web site.

Schmidt said people who drink alcohol or use drugs, overestimate their swimming abilities and underestimate water conditions, or swim alone are most likely to get into trouble.

“It’s simply because we are going in alone and we are going in impaired,” Schmidt said. “Be aware of the risks. If you’re not feeling well don’t go in the water. And we highly recommend that you continue to swim with a buddy.”

Nicolas March, assistant manager at Scottsdale Aquatic Center, cautions swimmers can have heart attacks, seizures, or strokes.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen in the water,” March said.

He and others recommend taking water-safety or swimming classes.