Drownings on the rise with 7 children killed in Phoenix so far this summer

After two children drowned over the weekend, the Phoenix Fire Department is sending parents a message this summer: You have to watch your kids. 

They say even if you have a fence, nothing can replace adult supervision.

Ten people have drowned this year in Phoenix. Seven of those people were kids. 

In most cases, the homes had no pool fence, which is required by law if you have kids under six. But at the end of the day, a barrier will only buy you time.

Drownings can happen just seconds after a small child falls into a pool.

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It’s something that always concerned Ernie, a father of six children and grandparent of 12.

"I imagined something like that, but I have never experienced it," Ernie said. "The feeling that the parents are going through, you know."

What he did experience was the sound of emergency vehicles this past weekend, and the shock of realizing a child in his neighborhood near 51st Avenue and Encanto Boulevard had died after falling into a backyard pool.

The fire department hesitates to ever blame the parents, but after PIO Todd Keller was called to two separate drownings on the same day on Saturday, he wanted parents to get the message.

"You know, I don’t have the answer to why these children are slipping through the cracks, but in as little as two inches of water, a child can drown," Keller said. 

Pool fences are required by law for homeowners with children under six. 

Phoenix Police say it's up to building inspectors to enforce the law, and inspectors rely on neighborhood complaints. 

When inspectors enforce the law, homeowners face a fine. When they don’t, parents face tragedy.

Retired firefighter Tim Maloney witnessed these firsthand after eight drownings.

"Families don’t stay together after a drowning because it’s the blame game," he said. "So parents please, watch your kids around water, it takes just a few seconds."