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.
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.