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Posted May 27, 2010 Launches New Water Safety Campaign launched 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.

The campaign kicked off on May 25 at North Shore Pool in St. Petersburg.  Life rings filled to pool to represent children who have been lost to drowning.

"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 included a parent and her son, who nearly died from drowning and 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.