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By Paula DiGrigoli

January 07, 2020

Naples, Fla. — Just Against Children Drowning Foundation, Inc. (JACD) and The NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County (the Coalition) will be holding the 7th Annual Twins Tot Walk Vigil to raise awareness of childhood drowning. This event will include a butterfly release ceremony and a 1-2 mile flameless candle beach walk to remember the children who have lost their lives to drowning. Since 2000 there have been 50 childhood drowning deaths in Collier County.

WHEN: Friday, January 10th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Vanderbilt Beach

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 the state; this drowning death rate is the highest in the nation. In 2019, 3 children under the age of 6 died from childhood drowning in Collier County.

The amount of children who drown each year in Florida is enough to fill three to four preschool classrooms. “Drowning happens to the best parents and the best people. It is silent and preventable,” said Paula DiGrigoli, the Coalition Executive Director. “Drowning takes seconds and it can happen to you or a loved one. Drowning does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, all year round. Many of these deaths occur when children are not expected to be swimming or when they have unanticipated access to water. Toddlers are naturally curious; that’s why we must implement the layers of protection, such as pool fencing, door locks and swimming lessons. These will not make our children waterproof. We never know which layer of protection will save a life until it does, so please - layer up!”

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

Just Against Children Drowning (JACD)
Paul J DeMello lost his twin 13-month old boys to a drowning ten years ago. In the aftermath of this horrible tragedy, Paul created Just Against Children Drowning (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 child-serving non-profit, government service and business providers joined efforts in 2010 to create The NCH Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County (the Coalition). The Coalition provides these 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/businesses 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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