It’s silent, happens quickly and is 100% preventable: Florida has the highest overall unintentional drowning death rate for 1-4 year olds, three times the national average. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) latest data shows there were 346 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas in 2014 involving children younger than 15, of the 346 reported fatal child drownings in 2014, 252 involved children younger than 5. By no means has Collier County been spared this preventable tragedy. According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, drowning is the leading cause of death of children ages one to four in Collier County.
The NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition recognizes that multiple layers of protection are necessary to prevent drowning. We stresses that NO single device or solution can prevent child drownings. Parents, caregivers, aquatic facility owners, managers and operators should use “layers of protection” to provide a system of increased security to prevent unauthorized access to bodies of water, especially important for children. This means that multiple strategies or devices are used constantly and simultaneously.
Layers include various types of barriers, including supervision, fences, pool covers, alarms, education, and more. Some layers aid in preventing access to the water, such as fences or pool safety covers. Other types of layers, such as alarms, will alert adults immediately if the barriers have been crossed. And finally, some layers are intended to minimize injury should a child gain access to the water, such as swim instruction, proper rescue techniques, and knowing CPR.
Please help share the following four messages to help prevent the loss of another child!
- Supervise – Never take your eyes off children in and around water.
There Is No Substitute for Active Supervision! Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision. IF YOUR CHILD IS MISSING, CHECK NEARBY POOLS and OTHER WATER AREAS FIRST.
- Use Barriers – Fences, self-closing/self-latching gates and secured doors with alarms can prevent young children from wandering into the pool/canal/lake/pond. Check for broken or missing drain covers. Use Barriers – Fences, self-closing/self-latching gates and secured doors with alarms can prevent young children from wandering into the pool/canal/lake. We have FREE door/window alarms please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need alarms. These FREE alarms are possible thanks to the generous donation from Kiwanis Club of Greater Collier and JustAgainst ChildrenDrowning.
- Learn to Swim – To stay safer in the water, all family members should learn to swim well. Teach children NEVER SWIM ALONE, an ADULT MUST watch them in the pool/canal/lake. Young children and inexperienced swimmers need to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Our coalition has life jackets available at 15 Life Jacket Loaner Stations
- Know How to Respond – Get training in basic water rescue skills, first aid and CPR. Have rescue equipment and a phone by the pool.
National Drowning Prevention Alliance
Collier County Sheriff’s Office – A Preventable Tragedy
Swimming Instruction, Water Safety Instruction and CPR Directory:
SWIM LESSONS – Collier County
- Greater Naples YMCA (Ages 6 months +) 5450 YMCA Road, Naples 239-597-3148 www.ymcapalms.org
- Greater Marco Family YMCA (Ages 6 months +) 101 Sand Hill St, Marco Island 239-597-3148 www.marcoislandymca.org
- Sun-N-Fun Lagoon (Ages 6 months +) 15000 Livingston Rd (239) 252-4021 www.collierparks.com
- Golden Gate Aquatic Facility (Ages 6 months +) 3300 Santa Barbara Blvd (239) 252-6128 www.collierparks.com
- Immokalee Sports Complex (Ages 5 months +) 505 Escambia St., Immokalee (239) 657-1951 www.collierparks.com
- City of Naples – River Park Aquatic Facility (Ages 3 months +) 451 11th Street North, Naples, 239-213-3037 www.naplesgov.com
- American Red Cross Collier County Chapter (Ages 6 months +) 239-596-6868 www.colliercountyredcross.org
CPR CLASSES- Collier County
- American Red Cross Collier County Chapter 239-596-6868 www.colliercountyredcross.org
- East Naples Fire Department 239-774-7111 www.enfd.org
- NCH Women’s & Children’s Resource Center – Infant CPR (Ages 6 months +) 239-552-7396 www.nchmd.org
- Physicians Regional Health Systems 239-354-6085 www.physiciansregional.net
- Collier CPR and Safety Training – 239-537-0495