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DCF Launches Water Safety for Kids Campaign

By Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary

May 01, 2015

DCF Launches Water Safety for Kids Campaign 

For Immediate Release: April 29, 2015

DCF Launches Water Safety for Kids Campaign
Campaign educates children on safe swimming practices

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), along with various
community partners, today launched its Water Safety for Kids Campaign at the Children's Safety
Village in Orlando. The campaign will educate children, as well as parents and caregivers, on
key water safety practices in preparation for the upcoming summer months, as drowning is a
leading cause of child deaths in Florida.

"Every child in Florida needs to learn about water safety and safe swimming practices because
we are surrounded by water and most summer activities in this state involve water," Secretary
Mike Carroll said. "Parents and caregivers have the ultimate responsible to protect their children,
but by also educating children directly about basic water safety we hope to save more lives."

The Water Safety Campaign continues an initiative launched last year to reduce child drownings.
Since 2009, 488 Florida child drownings have been reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline - 14
so far this year. The majority of these deaths involve children under the age of 3, many slipping
away undetected to a pool, pond or lake. Information and reports on these deaths can be found on
the department's Child Fatality Prevention website

Last year, the department's campaign provided posters and PSA's urging parents and caregivers
to "Keep Eyes on the Kids." This year's campaign will provide free books, coloring sheets and
informational videos to children, and events with puppet shows, guest speakers and readings of
water safety books will be held in elementary schools, child care centers, libraries and book
stores throughout Florida.

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.

"I'm very proud of the work our community partners are doing to promote water safety in our
state," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "As we approach
summer, keep in mind these steps that anyone can take to ensure water activities are safe
activities: supervise consistently, learn emergency CPR and maintain fences and gates to prevent
accidental access to pools."

"Our state offers so many opportunities for children to spend their summer days exploring the
world around them and learning beyond the walls of the classroom," said Education
Commissioner Pam Stewart. "We want all Floridians to be aware of water danger and teach our
children how to enjoy safely one of Florida's most precious natural resources."
Other partners in DCF's Water Safety for Kids Campaign include the Florida Department of
State's Division of Libraries, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Pool Safely Program, Barnes and Noble, the Stew
Leonard III Children's Charities, the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation, Candlewick
Publishing, Scholastic, the Florida Early Learning Coalition, YMCA, USA Swimming, the
Florida Children's Services Council and many local municipalities.
Follow the campaign on social media at #WaterSafety4Kids. The following images are also
available for use:

  • "Froggy Learns to Swim" colored by a Florida child
  • "Josh the Otter colored by a Florida child
  • Heat map illustrating child drowning deaths in Florida

For more information and resources available on water safety for kids visit:

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


The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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