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CONSUMER ALERT: Child Pool Safety Must Be Our Top Concern

8/1/2018

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Contact: Anna Alexopoulos Farrar, anna.farrar@myfloridacfo.com, 850.413.2842
 
CONSUMER ALERT: Child Pool Safety Must Be Our Top Concern
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Child pool and spa deaths in Florida continue to rise:

• Child pool and spa deaths in the state increased by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017
• Florida is number one for child pool and spa deaths, with a total of 51 deaths in 2017
• 80 percent of the deaths in 2017 involved children under the age of 5
• More than 90 percent of Florida’s home swimming pools were built before Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act took effect, which includes requirements for safety pool covers and barriers that surround the pool
• Drowning is the leading cause of deaths of young children in Florida

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Over the past few months, I’ve met with firefighters across the state, listening to their top issues and concerns. One issue that continues to emerge is the concern of pool safety among residents and visitors to our state. As our population grows, and new families move to our state where pools are very common, we must keep raising awareness about the potential dangers.
 
“With more than 116 million visitors coming to Florida in 2017 alone, it’s also important we engage tourism industry stakeholders to help protect those who choose our state as their vacation destination. I’ve directed my office to meet with representatives from the tourism industry, including vacation rental companies such as Airbnb and Expedia (VRBO, HomeAway) to engage them in a conversation on how we can educate visitors on keeping their families safe.” 
 
Safety Tips for Florida Residents and Visitors:
 
Supervise. According to the Florida Department of Health, in the time it takes to put in a load of laundry, a child can drown. Never leave a child to swim unattended, and be sure to keep your eyes on the pool at all times.
 
Barriers. A child should never be able to enter the pool area without adult supervision. A barrier should be installed that isolates the pool from the home (a fence or a wall or a combination of both) and surrounds the pool.
 
Tech. Pool and door alarms can alert you when a door or window is open or detects movement in the water. Easy to install and can save a life.
 
Important Skills. Teach a child in your family or neighbor how to swim and be sure you know how to swim. Learn CPR even if you aren’t a parent.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).