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Floridians have barely had time to open up their pools from the winter season and we have had the second toddler drowning in just 5 days.

It was reported in the Orlando Sentinel that a 4 year-old girl was found in the swimming pool of a Lakeland motel around noon yesterday. A 38 year-old woman who was caring for the 4 year-old and a 3 year-old said she fed them breakfast and then laid down to go to sleep. When she got up the children were missing. The 3 year-old was found okay, but the 4 year-old died after arriving at the hospital.

It cannot be said often enough that when children are anywhere near a pool, they cannot be left alone for a second. As was reported just last week, 441 children died by accidental drowning between 2001 and 2006.

Florida’s Department of Health has a Drowning Prevention Campaign entitled "Keep your Eyes on Your Kids", with the lofty goal of "ZERO Drownings in Florida." The plan is that you pledge to be a safe water watcher.

Water Watcher Pledge

To help protect children from drowning, I will…

  • Constantly watch the children who are in or near water and keep them within reach.
  • Give this tag to another adult who agrees to actively watch the children if I need to leave for any reason.
  • Make sure rescue equipment is easily accessible. Keep telephone and emergency numbers with me.
  • Latch gates, lock doors, use alarms and create two or more barriers to the pool, spa or any water.
  • Once I leave the water, I will make sure a child cannot return without my knowledge.

Drowning is silent and fast. Supervision is your child’s best protection.

Whether or not you have a pool in your yard, you could do yourself a favor by checking out their website to ensure your kids stay SAFE this summer.

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