Maricopa City Council issued a proclamation declaring May “Water Safety Month” during its Tuesday meeting.

The proclamation acknowledges drowning as the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, and as the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14. It also highlighted the need for the community to engage in water safety preparation.

“I … urge all citizens of Maricopa to participate in efforts to reduce the risk of drowning and aquatic injuries,” said Mayor Nancy Smith.

The proclamation is part of a month-long water safety awareness campaign by the Maricopa Fire and Medical Department in collaboration with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. NDPA provides educational resources on preventing drowning deaths, which includes its 5 Layers of Protection: barriers, supervision, water competency, life jackets and emergency preparation.

“Children are innocent, precious and valuable, and drownings are so preventable,” said MFMD Assistant Chief Christopher Bolinger.

“Even though it’s Water Safety Month, our water safety messaging never stops here in Arizona,” said MFMD spokesperson Monica Williams. “There’s never not a water season here, and the pools are existent in the backyard even in December.”

Two drowning deaths have already occurred in Maricopa this year, a 2-year-old girl in March and a 55-year-old man in April.