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Plantation....Department Starts Campaign to Education in effort to Stop Drownings

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  • Plantation....Department Starts Campaign to Education in effort to Stop Drownings

    Ads aim to reduce drowning tragedies in Plantation

    By Jeremy Milarsky
    Staff Writer
    Posted August 29 2003

    PLANTATION · Men and women who work in the city's fire-rescue stations see one of the most common South Florida nightmares all too often: An unwatched child wanders into a canal or swimming pool and either drowns or almost drowns and ends up brain damaged.

    Administrators in the city's Fire-Rescue Department and at Plantation General Hospital believe many of those tragedies could have prevented had the people involved known a little more. That's why both agencies plan to launch an advertising campaign next year to help prevent drownings in Plantation, Fire Battalion Chief Joel Gordon said.

    At the July 4 parade in Plantation, firefighters handed out brochures giving tips on how parents can protect their child from a water-related accident, but those accidents still happen.

    In 2002, there were 15 drownings or near-drownings in the city, and all but two involved children.

    "It was a bad year," Gordon said.

    Between January and July of this year, three children drowned or almost drowned in the city.

    By summer 2004, hospital officials, including a team of pediatricians, plan to team up with fire-rescue workers to place ads on public-access television and radio stations to educate people about water safety.

    Fences can help prevent a child from wandering into a swimming pool or canal, and proper supervision from an adult works best of all to prevent accidents.

    By late winter 2003 or early 2004, hospital officials intend to offer water-safety classes to teens and adults who baby-sit for small children, said Marla Hetzel, spokeswoman for the hospital.

    "Often, these kids [who have drowning accidents] are in a baby-sitter's care," she said.

    Jeremy Milarsky can be reached at [email protected] or call 954-572-2020.

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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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