CARD-USF has partnered with Cox Media Group’s Tampa Bay radio station, Magic 94.9, for a Swim Safely Campaign. On air morning show personality, Danielle, will promote water safety strategies and resources for children and families for twelve weeks. The messaging for social media and radio spots will cover water safety, but with an emphasis on individuals on the autism spectrum. CARD-USF is excited for this opportunity to reach a broader audience and help promote the importance of water safety. Visit Magic 94.9’s website to learn more about the campaign.
May is Water Safety Month.
The topic of safety is extremely important to us here at CARD as individuals with autism are more susceptible to danger particularly drowning. Drowning is one of the main causes of death for individuals with autism and the leading cause of death for all children ages 1-4 (CDC, 2019).
At this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of drownings has significantly increased during the the stay-at-home orders. Many factors can be attributed to this correlation which is discussed in further detail, along with recent statistics, in an article provided by SafeKids Worldwide, Safe States & YMCA.
CARD-USF works year round on water safety education and provides resources and tools to families and other organizations in the community. At the same time partnering with various agencies throughout our 14 counties, as well as, national organizations whose mission is to educate and empower caregivers. Thanks to donations to CARD’s Autism Services Fund, CARD has provided life jackets, swim lessons, and Josh the Otter materials to classrooms. CARD created Strategies for including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)and created a visual with Water Safety Rules. These strategies are designed to be utilized in collaboration with the Josh the Baby Otter book and Josh the Otter Program/Presentation Guide.
Donations allow CARD to have the opportunity to help our community further by covering the cost of printing and distribution of our created materials along with our ASD and Water Safety brochure. These same funds also provide Safety Kits to families which include items such as door alarms, stop signs and various resources.
Here in Florida, water safety is important year round; however, having a designated month to really push the initiative is a great way to prep for the Summer ahead. Below we’ve created a quick video with some of our favorite tips to practice water safety.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, February 6). Drowning Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/drowning/index.html
With the uncertainty of Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Florida, now is a good time to prepare. CARD-USF has Hurricane Safety brochures in English and Spanish as well as a Hurricane Social Narrative. Also, be sure to register with the Special Needs Registry in your county at FLGetAPlan.com
Hurricane Safety (English):https://www.dropbox.com/…/CARD_2018HurricaneGuide_FINAL_dig…