PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — According to Pasco Fire Rescue, the number of drownings in Pasco County has doubled from this time last year.
Eight of the 19 cases ended in death. Most involved children.
It happens all too often: a family party with lots of distractions. In just seconds, a child goes underwater.
In a just-released Public Service Announcement, Pasco Fire Rescue officials are showing the disturbing reality of what he can happen so the message sticks.
The PSA ends with an unconscious child leaving in an ambulance. And then funeral director Tom Dobies stands next to a child-size coffin and says, “it doesn’t have to end like this.”
“This is a very common occurrence. We all have our backyard BBQ’s. We may not all have swimming pools, but those that do, it’s a very common scene,” said Pasco Fire Chief Scott Cassin.
“It’s so sad and it really hits home,” said mother of two, Sarah Tomacruz.
“Even at 11 and 13, I can’t let them go by themselves to the pool, or stray too far away on the beach,” she said.
Fire officials say drowning is the leading cause of death in Florida for kids between one and four.
And most of those deaths happen in the summer.
That’s why officials said at all gatherings, an adult should be designated as a “water watcher.”
You can even download a “water watcher” tags.
Gates and fences around water need to be locked.
And parents should learn hands only CPR.
Pasco County offers swim lessons too.
But nothing beats supervision.
“It’s very important to keep in mind as a parent you are just always watching your kids and you know exactly where they are,” said Tomacruz.
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