CHILD DROWNING RATES REDUCED 50% IN 2016
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The drowning rate among children in Hillsborough County ages 0-6 was reduced by 50% in 2016. This reduction in child drowning was accomplished through considerable collaborative effort between local agencies; including creative programming options, unprecedented provider collaboration, and investments in water safety education campaigns with a single goal in mind, to save children’s lives. The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County works to provide services to keep local children safe by investing in programs and education to reduce the numbers of young children that perish from this 100% preventable cause.
Kelley Parris, Executive Director of the Children’s Board stated “A 50% reduction in child drowning is incredibly encouraging. We are fortunate to live in a community that recognized drowning was a primary concern to child safety and local agencies took action making a significant difference.”
Data indicates formal swimming lessons for children under the age of 4 reduce their risk of drowning by 88%. In an effort to eliminate any barriers for children to receive this life saving skill, the Children’s Board Mobile Swim and Water Safety Education Program was launched to provide, no cost, formal swimming lessons and water safety education for children at their local community or apartment complex pools. The Children’s Board also provides funding for swim lesson vouchers (certain restrictions apply) which will be available March 2017 at the Children’s Board Family Resource Centers “Splash into Water Safety” events throughout the county.
Kelley Parris stated “Florida ranks #1 in the country for drowning deaths in children ages 0-4, we are surrounded by water, but we cannot become complacent and accept that we will lose any more children. Drowning is 100% preventable and we have proven methods to eliminate child drowning including parental supervision in and around water, barriers to water safety, and swim lessons. One child death to drowning is too many. Caregivers must educate themselves on water safety to ensure we are all “Water Smart from the Start”.”
If your community is interested in participating in the Mobile Swim Program, contact Amanda Walker at Amanda.walker@tampaYMCA.org.
For more information on the “Splash into Water Safety” events please visit http://www.familysupporthc.org/docs/default-source/events/cbfrc-splash-into-water-safety-flyer-2017
For more information on 100% preventable child death visit www.preventneedlessdeaths.com
Please click on the picture below to see how our investments are changing the statistics in regards to child drowning in our community!