Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths for children under 5 years old. In fact, each year too many young Floridians are lost to drowning— the equivalent of four preschool classrooms, and an average of 74 children in each of the last 10 years. That equals 744 children who did not live to celebrate their 5th birthday.
State and national data shows 76% of children under 5 primarily drown in residential pools. The Coalition, in its unwavering commitment to reverse this trend, established a water safety campaign called "Florida Safe Pools."
Goals and Objectives
- Increase the number of homeowners installing barriers,door and pool alarms and pool fencing, in and around their pools and homes.
- Promote the use of multiple "layers of protection" (barriers and alarms) to help homeowners keep kids safe around pools, since most young children gain access to the pool area when least expected. This is accomplished by the distribution of written materials through many venues including social media, community events, speaking at homeowner association meetings, and other settings.
- Conduct pre-school and kindergarten- based water safety curriculum by Coalition members and the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Community Relations Department staff. In excess of 2,000 students are reached annually.
- Conduct neighborhood canvasing in areas with large numbers of backyard pools and a high incidence of drowning or near drowning of young children. This initiative is conducted by Safe Kids member agencies including local fire districts and with the knowledge and participation of individual homeowner associations.
- Create an educational and engaging water safety video and PSA with funding from the Florida Department of Health to be distributed and shown statewide on multiple sites including Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids member agencies, television, Facebook and other social media outlets.
- Create and staff water-safety displays at multiple venues throughout the counties served by the Coalition, to include Tampa Bay Rays games at Tropicana Field and other community health and safety fairs.
- Create, distribute and post to the FSP Facebook site locations and contact information where families can register for water safety and swim lessons.
- Educate families about the Water Watcher program.