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.

May 2018

Safe sleep in all conditions

Hurricane season begins on June 1, and parents should consider sleep safety when preparing for a hurricane.

It’s not often practical to pack a crib when evacuating, and parents shouldn’t rely on relatives, evacuation shelters or hotels to provide a safe sleep environment for their infant. Put a pack n’ play in your hurricane kit and plan to bring it in an emergency. Read these tips for safe sleep and how to prepare for hurricane season.

This published in The Tampa Bay 100.


April 2018

Avoiding unsafe sleep

Jane Murphy, Executive Director of Healthy Start Coalition, appeared on “Great Day LIVE Tampa Bay” to discuss why the ABC’s of safe sleep are essential for parents.

Hosts Michael Clayton and Kendall Kirkham recount their safe sleep practices with their own children and how easy it is to make a mistake, especially as an exhausted parent. Murphy explains how parents need to not only ensure their infants are catching up on sleep in their own crib, but how it benefits parents because they’re able to relax in their own bed without any concerns for their baby. Watch the video for more tips on keeping infants safe at bedtime and naptime.

This published on CBS 10 News.


March 2018

Safe sleep recommendations

Jane Murphy, Executive Director of Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, shared tips for keeping infants safe with ABC Action Newsanchor James Tully. Her tips for safe sleep practices for infants include:

–       Practice the ABC’s of safe sleep: Alone on their Back in a Crib.

–       Follow crib setup recommendations.

–       Be prepared for naptime and bedtime away from home.

Watch the video for more safe sleep tips from Jane Murphy.

February 2018

Safety first: prepare for your new baby

Any family is at risk for infant death, and new parents and caretakers should take extra safety precautions. Stay up-to-date on the latest information about infant care is essential when preparing for the arrival of your new baby.

In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 200 children under the age of 6 have died in the last five years from the top three causes of preventable child death- unsafe sleep, drowning and abusive head trauma. Read this article for more.

This published in Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine’s January 2018 issue.