DROWNING – A PREVENTABLE TRAGEDY
The number one cause of death for children one to four years of age in Broward County is drowning. For every child that drowns, four more nearly drown – often with life altering injuries. Unlike so many other tragedies that we deal with at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, drowning is entirely preventable. After more than 30 years of service at BSO, I have seen my share of this horrific tragedy. I am committed to changing this disturbing trend – it is my biggest priority.
Our agency is initiating the largest public safety initiative in BSO history. We are taking a hard line, with a visual and educational campaign like none other seen or heard before. Our posters will be featured in daycare centers, hospitals, pediatric offices and schools throughout Broward County. Deputies, firefighters and community volunteers will be canvassing neighborhoods with printed material reminding parents and caregivers just how dangerous the backyard pool can be. There is no doubt you will see our billboards and bus ads or hear our public safety announcements on the radio and television.
During the summer months, BSO’s Fire Rescue Division will be offering free CPR courses for parents and caregivers. Deputies will come to any Broward County home to conduct a free pool safety survey and offer suggestions on making your pool safe.
Whether you are a parent, grandparent or caregiver, I encourage you to read and adhere to the following:
- never leave children unsupervised near any body of water – not even for a moment
- install a pool fence and alarms on every door leading to water
- do not rely on flotation devices to protect your children in the pool
- teach your children water safety skills
- learn CPR
Again, I remind you that drowning is a preventable tragedy. I look forward to the day Broward County no longer leads the state in toddler drowning deaths. I know that through awareness and education we can save lives.
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