Community Partners Launch Groundbreaking Campaign to End Preventable Child Death in Tampa Bay

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2015

Community Partners Launch Groundbreaking Campaign
to End Preventable Child Death in Tampa Bay

TAMPA—The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), and partners including the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Eckerd Community Alternatives, and Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County launched a groundbreaking 3-year campaign today to eliminate preventable child deaths in the Tampa Bay area.

In the past five years, more than 150 local children have tragically died from three causes that are 100 percent preventable: accidental drowning, abusive head trauma and unsafe sleep practices. The campaign, Warning Signs, educates and encourages the community to take action to save our children from the leading preventable child deaths.

Children are this community’s most precious gift and every one of us must work together to keep them safe,” said Lisa Mayrose, DCF SunCoast Regional Managing Director. “This campaign will save more lives by educating the public on the very real dangers children face while challenging the community to help prevent these tragedies in the future.

The collaborative Warning Signs campaign incorporates stark “warning” labels in a context not usually associated with danger to a child to shift thinking about the topic of preventable deaths. The multi-year campaign will reach all levels of our community to practice and share proven lifesaving safety techniques about water safety, responsible caregivers and safe sleep.

“Things that kill kids should come with warning signs, but the sad truth is they don’t,” said Kelley Parris, Executive Director of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. “This campaign reminds us that we all have a responsibility to prevent these unnecessary deaths.”

The needless death of just one child impacts all of us,” said Dr. Marcie Biddleman Executive Director of Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas. “And it’s going to take all of us to stop these needless tragedies.”

“I’m very proud of the collective commitment of the core partners along with our many community partners to eliminate preventable deaths of our irreplaceable children,” said Brian Bostick Executive Director of Eckerd Community Alternatives Pinellas/Pasco. “The critical role of the partners in leading this community initiative is an integral part of the solution but it’s also a challenge that our entire community needs to take on together.

For more information, visit PreventNeedlessDeaths.com to learn more about how we can all keep our children safe.

Contact: Natalie Harrell, SunCoast Regional Communications Director, 813-337-5854

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