TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Child drownings skyrocketed during the month of January compared to last year, according to new data from the USA Swimming Foundation.
Nationwide, seven children died following water-related incidents last month. That's compared to just three incidents during the same time last year, translating into a 230 percent increase.
All of the drownings happened in backyard pools or spas, and one involved a child from the Phoenix area.
Higher than normal temperatures during the month led to many kids hitting the pool to escape the heat, especially in southern Arizona.
That's why first responders are urging parents to be vigilant. They advise the practice of the ABCs of pool safety:
A) Adult Supervision: Adults should supervise children in and around water. Remove children from the water for any distraction such as a telephone call.
B) Barriers: between children and water can save a life. Have a fence that isolates your swimming pool and spa from the home and play yard.
C) Classes: in CPR for adults and swimming lessons for children will help everyone know what to do in an emergency.
Captain Andy Skaggs with the Tucson Fire Department has responded to drowning incidents during his career. He said as a dad, it's a devastating call to get.
"That's something that you just, you don't think about that you ever want to have to see in your career. But when you do, you just kick right into what you know how to do in your training," he said.
Click HERE for information about pool safety provided by the Tucson Fire Department.