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By Paula DiGrigoli

January 08, 2019

Naples, Fla.— Just Against Children Drowning Foundation, Inc. and The NCH Safe & Health Children’s Coalition of Collier County (The Coalition) are raising awareness about childhood drowning. The organizations are holding a butterfly release ceremony and a 1-2 mile candlelit beach walk to remember the 47 children who have lost their lives due to drowning in Collier County since 2000, the 88 children who have lost their lives due to drowning in Florida in 2018, and 13-month old twins, Joshua and Christian, who lost their lives eight years ago.

WHERE:Vanderbilt Beach

WHEN:Friday, January 11, 2019 at 5:00pm.

WHY:According to the Florida Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages 1-4 in Florida. Florida’s drowning death rate among children ages 1-4 is the highest in the nation. Enough children drown each year in Florida to fill three to four preschool classrooms. Collier County had three children, under the age of 6 drown in 2018. “These losses remind us how important The Coalition’s job is. Every child that learns to swim, though not a guarantee, is likely another life saved”, states Paula DiGrigoli, The Coalition’s Executive Director.

The Coalition is asking all homeowners, apartment communities, pool stores, realtors, homeowners associations, and rental homeowners to provide important information about drowning prevention. There are multiple layers of protection that are necessary to prevent future drowning tragedies in Collier County. These layers of protection include supervision, swimming lessons, barriers (door and window alarms/pool fences) and knowing how to respond and provide CPR in the case of an emergency. Drowning deaths can happen year-round and are 100% preventable.

For more information, please contact Paula DiGrigoli at (239) 537-3436.

Just Against Children Drowning, Inc. (JACD)
Paul J. DeMello lost his twin 13-month old boys, Joshua and Christian, to a drowning tragedy. In the aftermath, DeMello created Just Against Children Drowning, Inc. (JACD), an incredible organization that works hard to spread water safety awareness.

NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition
Recognizing that accidental injuries and other health and safety issues require a coordinated approach, 20 non-profits, government service agencies, and business providers joined efforts in 2010 to create The Coalition, which provides organizations the conduit to bring programs and services together, to face issues and identify solutions as a team. The Coalition now has over 70 agencies/business working together.


About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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