May 2019

Preventing accidental drownings in children with Autism 

Accidental drowning is the top cause of preventable death for children under the age of six in the Tampa Bay area. And, Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at a higher risk for accidental drowning because they are drawn to water as it sparkles in the sunlight.

The most important thing to remember to prevent children from drowning is to supervise them at all times. Children drown silently and in as little as 20 seconds. 

To learn more about water safety tips, especially for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, watch the ABC Morning Blend segment with The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and Josh the Otter. 

April 2019

Preventing unsafe sleep deaths, accidental drownings and abusive head trauma

Children can drown in only 20 seconds, babies should always be placed alone and on their backs in their crib, and parents should be aware that stressful situations, like crying, can cause caregivers to harm infants unintentionally. 

Hear more tips on how to prevent needless child deaths from drowning, unsafe sleep and abusive head trauma on a radio interview with Roxanne Wilder from The Current and Paula Scott, Director of Public Relations with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. 

March 2019

The reality of child drownings 

In Hillsborough County in 2018, the number of child drownings went up by 275%, a sad reality that Hillsborough County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kelly Devers has faced. 

A child can drown in as little as 20 seconds. Take the proper steps in and around your home to save a child’s life: practice vigilant supervision and install proper barriers, such as a yard or pool fence. 

Read more in Tampa Bay Times

February 2019

Educate your child’s caregiver about the ABCs of safe sleep 

The next time you prepare to leave your baby with a babysitter, friend or a family member, make sure they understand the importance of safe sleep practices. Infants must always be Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib. This means that a baby should never sleep with a stuffed animal, pillow, blanket, bumper, or any other hazardous items that could pose a risk for suffocation. 

Have conversations about safe infant sleep with your caregivers. 

Read more in Florida Sentinel (Page 27)

January 2019

Preparations for a safer community

As the number of drownings in Hillsborough county continues to rise, county officials are taking more preventative measures now than ever before. With new programs in place to educate lower income families and targeted outreach to part-time child minders, the Children’s Board is in the works of reducing the number of drownings this year.

Follow these tips to save a life:

  • Always supervise children around water.
  • Install a pool/yard fence with a lock and self-closing gate.
  • Install a door alarm so that you’re alerted if a child goes outside unexpectedly.
  • Be aware of hidden hazards such as buckets, water bowls, inflatable pools, canals, ponds, and fountains.
  • Enroll children in formal swimming lessons.
  • Become CPR certified in case of an emergency situation.

This published in Tampa Bay Times.

November 2018

Water safety: Be aware of hidden hazards

Parents and caregivers, water safety isn’t a concern only in the summertime or near the pool. Hidden water hazards such as bathtubs, buckets and pet water bowls can be all over your home or in your backyard.

Child-proof your home to prevent drowning, keeping in mind that children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water and in as little as 20 seconds.  

This published in the Tampa Bay 100.

October 2018

More children accidentally drowned in 2018 than all of last year

With summer over, parents and caregivers may think the risk of child drowning is lower because kids spend less time in the pool and at the beach, however the risk of accidental drowning is constant year-round. Parents and caregivers should be attentive when with children at all times, as the risk of drowning is present even when water is not visible.

So far this year, nine children under the age of six have died from accidental drowning in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and more than half of them happened in a pond or bathtub. This year’s accidental drowning incidents are already more than the total drowning deaths from all of last year, which were six. Read more here

This published in Tampa Bay Newswire. 

August 2018

Safe sleep practices for caregivers

Whether you’re a grandparent or a caregiver, knowing the most up-to-date rules of safe sleep is essential when watching an infant. The ABCs of safe sleep are a good reminder of safe infant sleep: Alone on their Backs in a Crib. Read more in Senior Voice America for safe infant sleep practices.

July 2018

Learn the 3 layers of protection for water safety

 

Drowning is the second-leading cause of preventable death among children ages 1-14 in the U.S., and for children ages 1-4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. This year alone, we have lost eight children 4 years old and under to drowning in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

There are three important layers of protection for water safety that parents and caregivers can use to prevent children from drowning:

– Supervising children at all times during water and nonwater activities.

– Installing barriers, such as gates and self-latching locks, to limit access to home swimming pools.

– Installing alarms on doors and windows that will alert adults when a door is opened and a child goes outside.

Watch the video on Great Day LIVE Tampa Bay.

June 2018

Water safety tips for your young children

The Mommy Spot Tampa Bay shares the water safety tips that are applicable year-round in Florida, but especially important in the summertime. These water safety tips could save a child’s life.

Follow these four tips to keep kids safe:

–       Stay alert

–       Designate a ‘water watcher’

–       Never rely on flotation devices

–       Be aware of hidden hazards

Nothing beats close adult supervision. Actively watching your child even if they aren’t in the water reduces their risk for drowning. It only takes 30 seconds for a child to drown. Read more for safety tips. 

This published on The Mommy Spot Tampa Bay.