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St. Pete Fire Department Offers Free Life Jackets for Children

Life Jackets | Children | Drowning

Today’s (June 27) event will last from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or until firefighters run out of life jackets.

ST. PETERSBURG – In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue has scheduled a drive-through Water Safety Expo and Life Jacket giveaway.

The event is in partnership with St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation and the Suncoast Safe KidsCoalition, a program of Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. According to Water Smart Florida, since the beginning of March, a total of 12 children in the state have died from drowning. In each of the cases, the parent or caregiver became distracted with other responsibilities and lost track of the child. Tampa Bay has seen a drastic increase in pediatric drownings locally this year, officials said.

With summer heat rising and the Fourth of July holiday approaching, many families will spend time at a pool or the beach. With many swim lessons suspended because of the pandemic, having other protections in place is critical, firefighters said. It is important that families actively practice water safety.

The drive-through water safety event is an effort to help prevent these tragedies. Attendees will receive water safety educational materials and life jackets for children free of charge, while supplies last. These life jackets were provided by Pinellas County EMS Drowning Prevention and Awareness Program.

The event is scheduled today (June 27) in the parking lot at the Northwest Pool, 2331 60th St. N in St. Petersburg. It will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or while supplies last.

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