Pasco drownings urge sheriff and fire chief to raise awareness

File photo Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
File photo Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

Recent near death drownings in Pasco County, including that of a 17 month old, has the Sheriff’s Office raising awareness about pool and water safety.

Sheriff Chris Nocco along with the Chief of Pasco Fire Rescue, want people to remember to be safe around water, especially when it comes to children.

“Make sure someone is watching with you , it needs to be a team effort,” Sheriff Nocco said.

He also offered the following tips:

-Teach children how to swim

-Put up barriers around pools

-Never leave children unattended around any body of water.

And that includes toilets and bathtubs.

“A lot of people don’t realize that infants can drown in as little as one inch of water,” Chief Scott Cassin, Pasco County Fire Rescue said.

According to the Florida Department of Health, “Florida loses more children under age five to drowning than any other state. Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday.”

Here are some other startling statistics:

“Florida overwhelmingly has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for the 1–4 year old age group in 2010 with a drowning rate of 7.29 per 100,000 population. 

Florida also had the highest drowning number and rate in the nation for the 1–14 population in 2010 with a drowning rate of 2.67 per 100,000 population,” according to the Department of Health’s website.

Cassin said it’s up to all of us to cut down on those numbers.

“Be sure to avoid all distractions. This includes answering your cell phones,” Cassin said.

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