Keeping children safe in the water is a number one concern of health officials and safety advocates in Southwest Florida.
Even though summer is coming to an end and school begins on Aug. 24, the weather in Southwest Florida lets children swim in a pool or go to the beach practically any time of the year.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark is opening its facilities on Saturday, Aug. 1 for a free Water Safety Awareness Clinic where parents and children can learn the basics of water safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4.
Tony Marzullo, aquatics supervisor at the waterpark, said the clinic is for anyone who wants to attend. It focuses on water safety around the home, he said.
"It is geared towards parents, babysitters and anybody who wants to learn more about being safe, anywhere there may be a possibility of something happening where you aren't necessarily in a public place with a trained lifeguard on duty," he said.
Learning the basics of water safety could save a child's life. Dangers not only lie in family pools and spas, but also in unexpected places such as buckets of water around the house. In fact, small children can drown in bodies of water as shallow as one inch deep.
Water Safety Awareness Clinic
Saturday, Aug. 1
Sun Splash Family Waterpark
400 Santa Barbara Blvd.
For more information
This summer is the second year the waterpark has hosted the clinics. The park has held the clinics on the first Saturday of June, July and August.
"We started it last year and we don't generally get a lot of people who come out, but anybody we can get some information to is a bonus," said Marzullo.
Families who attend the clinic receive a $2 discount to the park for four people, he said. While the event is free to anyone, the park suggests calling ahead so that the space used for the clinic can accommodate the amount of people attending.
The program will begin at 9 a.m. and last approximately one-half hour. For more information on the program or other Sun Splash activities, visit www.sunsplashwaterpark.com.