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Human Resources

For Immediate Release

Jean Shoemaker, Safe Kids Coordinator
(727) 767-8581

News Release

'Florida Safe Pools' campaign calls for sun, fun, safety this Memorial Day weekend

May 25th event to highlight call for extra precautions around swimming pools 

May 21, 2010 (St. Petersburg, FL) is kicking off its new water safety campaign just in time for one of the most potentially dangerous weekends of the year for young children around backyard pools.

Each year in Florida we lose too many young children to drowning - the equivalent of FOUR preschool classrooms, an average of 74 children in each of the last 10 years. That's 744 children in Florida who did not live to celebrate their 5th birthdays. will launch its campaign May 25 at 10am at North Shore Pool, 901 N. Shore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg.  Representing children who have been lost to drowning, life rings will fill the pool, while first responders and numerous community organizations will call for extra precautions around pools this summer. "Keeping children safe around pools is our goal, and is Tampa Bay's best resource for helping parents reach that goal," said Wendy Loomas, campaign co-chair.

The campaign focuses on the "layers of protection" needed around a backyard pool to keep young children from getting or falling into the pool in the first place. The website details the four layers, how much each costs, and what parents should have or look for at any pool their child might be near.

Speakers will include a parent and her son, who nearly died from drowning, and a representative from Available for interviews will also be representatives from Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition, All Children's Hospital, the Pinellas Fire Chief's Association, the Florida Swimming Pool Association, the Pool Guard Safety Foundation, and rescue personnel from throughout Pinellas County. is sponsored by Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition and All Children's Hospital. It is funded in part by the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) matching funds grant.

About the Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition 

The Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition consists of child advocates from every sector of the community: education, law enforcement, fire/rescue, private industry, public health, health care, social services, parents and volunteer service groups. The Coalition addresses the greatest injury risk areas for children 0 - 14 years: motor vehicle injury, bicycle and pedestrian injury, drowning, and other injuries in the home, school and community. Safe Kids members are dedicated to raising awareness that injuries are the leading health threat facing children today.