DCF, elected officials, community leaders in Broward County, state partner agencies, police and fire-rescue join together in efforts to reduce unsafe sleep, drowning and other child deaths

For Immediate Release: Feb. 6, 2015

Contact: Paige Patterson-Hughes, DCF Communications Director, 954-375-3354

DCF, elected officials, community leaders in Broward County, state partner agencies, police and fire-rescue join together in efforts to reduce unsafe sleep, drowning and other child deaths
Feb. 9 meeting launches #SaferBy4 public awareness campaign in Broward County

BROWARD COUNTY – The Department of Children and Families, city and county leaders, police and fire-rescue directors, state agencies, healthcare advocates and community partners are joining together in an extraordinary effort aimed at reducing preventable child deaths in Broward County, nearly half of which were due to drowning and unsafe sleep last year.

The public awareness efforts are being spearheaded by DCF, City of Sunrise, the Children’s Services Council of Broward, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward Chiefs of Police Association, Broward Fire Chiefs Association, Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Broward Health, Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies of Broward County, Broward League of Cities, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Sunrise Police Department and Sunrise Fire-Rescue, with the support of numerous other entities in Broward.

On Feb. 9, the #SaferBy4 campaign, which brings together leaders and officials across Broward, will focus on reducing these tragic deaths, the majority of which involve children 3 years old and younger. The campaign is designed to give cities, first responders and others who interact with families the additional tools and no-cost ways of providing important information to their cities, residents and clients, all in the hopes of getting children safely to their 4th birthday, when the risks are reduced.

Leaders throughout Broward County already have taken the #SaferBy4 pledge and committed their cities to the effort. On Jan. 27 Sunrise, which has been a strong supporter of the campaign, and Mayor Mike Ryan presented a proclamation to DCF in support of the efforts. On Feb. 4, the Margate City Commission and Hallandale Beach City Commission both recognized #SaferBy4’s importance and presented DCF with city proclamations. On Feb. 10, Lauderdale Lakes leaders will be showing their commitment through their proclamation presentation to DCF during their commission meeting.

“Our community partners and cities are in a unique position to help spread this vital #SaferBy4 information to the residents with whom they have direct contact,” said DCF Southeast Regional Managing Director Dennis Miles. “We’re all working together in this effort with the same goal of saving children’s lives.”

The awareness these partnerships will bring to communities will help educate parents through reinforced and consistent messages about child safety issues, said DCF’s Circuit 17 Community Development Administrator Kim Gorsuch. “There are steps that families can take to help keep their children safe, such as having multiple barriers to prevent children from accessing pools and other bodies of water; making sure they know how to swim; and placing children in safe sleeping environments, such as alone-on their backs-and face-up in cribs.”

The campaign kicks off Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Sunrise Civic Center Grand Ballroom, 10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard. Media are welcome to attend. For more information about preventable child fatalities, please visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/childfatality/.

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