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Cooling down in a canal not worth the risk

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We hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July, and managed to stay cool while temperatures hovered once again around 110.

With triple digits forecast for the foreseeable future, we thought it would be a good time to talk about the dangers of drowning, specifically in canals.

The heat makes us all a little loopy and our decision making skills aren’t always functioning at 100 percent. A canal can look pretty inviting when it’s hot enough to nearly fry an egg on the sidewalk. A quick jump in and out is all it would take for some immediate relief.

But lurking below the surface are dangers that are just as deadly as the heat above.

Water moves swiftly through canals, more swiftly than it looks. So swiftly, in fact, that hazards such as grocery shopping carts and tree limbs aren’t always visible.

But they’re there. Just waiting for swimmers to become entangled in them and drown.

It happens every summer.

But it doesn’t have to. The West Valley is home to several public pools that charge a pittance for a days’ worth of swimming.

The Buckeye Aquatic Center at 1003 E. Eason Ave. in Buckeye is open Monday through Friday through Aug. 5 and then Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 3. The pool will also be open Labor Day. For hours of operation, go to buckeyeaz.gov/parks-recreation/aquatic-center/. The Aquatic Center charges $2 per person, and also offers season passes.

The Litchfield Park Recreation Center Pool at 100 S. Old Litchfield Road in Litchfield Park is open seven days a week through Labor Day. Hours of operation, which change slightly throughout the summer, can be found at litchfield-park.org/658/Hours-of-Operation. Daily passes cost $3, and children 3 and younger get in free with a paying adult. The Recreation Center also offers weekly and monthly specials.

The Goodyear Community Pool at 430 E. Loma Linda Blvd. in Goodyear is also open seven days a week through Labor Day. Visit goodyearaz.gov/government/departments-divisions-a-z/parks-recreation/recreation-division/aquatics/open-swim for hours of operation. Goodyear only charges $1.50 a day, and children 3 and younger are admitted free of charge with a paying adult. Goodyear also offers season passes.

Small prices to pay to beat the heat.

No matter how hot it is, no matter how cool and refreshing that water looks, no matter how experienced a swimmer you are, please stay out of the canals.

It only takes moments to change all the lives around you forever.

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