For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2016
New Water Safety Initiative Aims to Prevent another Somber Mother’s Day
TAMPA — Two years ago, the Tampa Bay area was shocked by the drowning deaths of three young children on Mother’s Day weekend. As the somber anniversary approaches, the grandmother of one of the young lives lost on that tragic weekend, along with community leaders, will help launch a local initiative to educate both preschool children and their caregivers on water safety.
On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) will join the Safety Rock Foundation, the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Molina HealthCare and local leaders in a press conference to raise awareness about water safety and kick off an innovative initiative to bring water safety education to dozens of preschools throughout Hillsborough County.
By an overwhelming margin, Florida leads the nation in child drownings each year. Since 2011, 414 child drownings have been reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline – enough to fill more than 25 preschool classrooms. In Florida drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 – 5. Tragically, Florida is 300% above the national average in child drowning.
National Water Safety Awareness Month & “Kid Care Kits” Initiative Launch
- Grandmother of 5-year-old drowning victim Torrey Davis Jr., Sheila Johnson
- Safety Rock Foundation Executive Director Rocky Trahan
- Children’s Board of Hillsborough County Executive Director Kelley Parris
- Department of Children & Families Regional Communications Director Natalie Harrell
- Molina HealthCare Regional Community Outreach Manager Angela Blaylock
Wednesday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.
Maya Netpark Preschool, 5015 N 56th St, Tampa, FL 33610
CONTACT: Natalie Harrell, DCF: Natalie.Harrell@myflfamilies.com / 813-784-1898
Drowning prevention PSAs, b-roll from swimming classes and additional drowning prevention resources for media are available for distribution by visiting: www.myflfamilies.com/watersafety