DCF Joins Communities Across Florida to Promote Water Safety Day

For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2015

DCF Joins Communities Across Florida to Promote Water Safety Day
May 15 is International #WaterSafety Day

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) today joined communities across Florida for International Water Safety Day, which aims to educate people on the importance of learning basic water safety skills and emergency preparedness. DCF launched a new phase of its statewide Water Safety Campaign earlier this month.

“The number of Florida children who have died from drowning in the last six years would fill 25 classrooms,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “As sad as that is, it is even sadder that every one of them was preventable, and that is why it is imperative that communities and state agencies make water safety a priority – especially as we head into summer.”

The Water Safety Campaign continues an initiative launched last year to reduce child drownings. Since 2009, 490 Florida child drownings have been reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline – 16 so far this year.

The campaign promotes four rules for children to follow around water:

  • Never go near water without an adult.
  • Wear a lifejacket.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or find an adult.

Since the department launched the campaign earlier this month, more than 330 requests have been received to schedule a water safety program in schools, child care facilities, summer camps and others.

DCF has partnered with Pool Safely to provide additional tools and resources to promote awareness. Adults and kids are invited the “Take the Pledge” to take simple steps to save lives. Visit www.poolsafely.gov/pledge to #TakethePledge.

For more information and resources available visit: www.myflfamilies.com/watersafetyforkids

Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4450