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Daytona and Volusia Health officials promote pool and swimming safety programs

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Daytona Beach and Florida Department of Health officials held a news conference Thursday in Daytona Beach promoting pool safety and a free door alarm giveaway program. The conference was held at the Cypress Aquatic Center at George W. Engram Boulevard and Nova Road in Daytona Beach, to promote pool safety and help prevent drowning incidents, especially over the summer months.

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Daytona Beach Zone Five City Commissioner Patrick Henry noted that children’s safety is one of the top priorities of the Daytona Beach City Commissioners and Mayor. City Athletic Manager Jacquelyn Pannell also introduced speakers at the conference, including Florida Department of Health in Volusia County Director Dr. Bonnie Sorensen, who discussed the Department’s water safety program.

Water-Watchers advocated

Dr. Sorensen noted that, “Unfortunately, in Florida, we lead the nation in the number of drowning deaths in children between the ages of one and four…The Florida Department of Health has a Water-Proof Florida program which stresses barriers of protection for children – not only supervision by parents, grandparents and caregivers – but also barriers around pools, as well as emergency preparedness such as CPR, as well as swimming lessons. The Florida Water-Proof program also suggests that there be a Water-Watcher – some adult designated to watch children while they are in the pool, because when children drown, they don’t call for help, they don’t scream, they just sink. And in seconds, in minutes, the children can die.”

Free door alarms available

Dr. Sorensen also noted that free door alarms are being offered to Volusia residents with small children and home pools. “The Florida Department of Health here in Volusia County, and at all of our sites, in New Smyrna, in Deland, Deltona, and in Daytona…are offering free door alarms. Door alarms attach to sliding or opening doors, and if a child breaches that door, the alarm will go off and alert adults that the pool is accessible.”

You can contact the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County through their website at, or you can call them at 386-274-0500 in Daytona Beach, 386-789-7507 in Deltona, or 386-424-2065 in New Smyrna Beach.

CPR Training at the Daytona Beach Fire Department

Daytona Beach Fire Chief Dru Driscoll emphasized the importance of CPR training, use of life vests, and hydration for children swimming during the hot summer months. “Drowning requires a timely response from a certified CPR person…the City of Daytona Beach currently offers [CPR] training courses once a month, and on an as-needed basis for businesses. In fact, our own Leisure Services [Department] has become a certified CPR department.” Chief Driscoll also said the Fire Department recommends “…certified and approved life vests for children who are unable to swim or who have difficulty swimming.”

Chief Driscoll also pointed out that children often do not realize they need to stay hydrated while swimming. “Children…enjoy the pool so much that they don’t want to stop for that drink of water that is essential to life…as you are a Water-Watcher, you must pay attention to your children, make sure that they are wearing appropriate sunscreen, that they receive the appropriate amount of shade…that [outside the pool] they are wearing light-colored, loose clothing, and that you advocate that they stop and drink water [because] the natural pool temperatures…prevent the children from thinking that they are thirsty….”

You can learn more about taking a CPR course with the Daytona Beach Fire Department at their website at, or call 386-671-4000.

Swim Lessons at the Cypress Aquatic Center

Daytona Beach Fire Department Public Information Officer and Chaplain Lt. Larry Stoney also noted that a Learn to Swim 2014 Campaign is being held at the Cypress Aquatic Center this summer. The pool and facilities are located at 981 George W. Engram Boulevard, and open swim days and hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For additional information about programs at the Cypress Aquatic Center, you can contact the Aquatics Manager at 386-671-8392 or 386-671-8393.

Click here to visit the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County website.

Click here to visit the Daytona Beach Fire Department website.

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