Because drowning remains the leading cause of death in children under the age of four, Los Angeles County firefighters once again partnered with the City of Santa Clarita and others, including Academy Swim Club, to host their third annual “Children Drown Without a Sound” Water Safety Expo on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Santa Clarita Fire Station 126, 26320 Citrus St., Valencia.
“It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown, and drowning incidents continue to occur in the Santa Clarita Valley. Children, especially those five years and younger, don’t understand the danger of falling into water and don’t usually splash, cry or call out for help,” said Los Angeles County Assistant Fire Chief Dean McGuire.
Local firefighters and lifeguards helped draw attention to water safety by demonstrating pool safety techniques in the same entertaining, fun-filled atmosphere that drew over 1,500 local residents to the station last year. They simulated the poolside rescue of a young drowning victim (Francine and Dante, both swimmers at Academy Swim Club, volunteered!) and shared a real 9-1-1 drowning call with the audience. Expo partners also provided educational activities to help local families take steps toward the prevention of drowning and near drowning.
“This year, we plan to offer an even greater family fun day for the whole community, with local food trucks, an exciting water balloon toss with firefighters, portable swimming pools and giveaways,” said Stephanie English, community services liaison for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”
Many activities were showcased as part of the “Passport to Water Safety.” Itinerary stops included the Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation, Academy Swim Club, American Heart Association/Superior Life Support, American Red Cross, Impressions in Thread: LACoFD Clothing, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), Santa Clarita Life Guards (private event lifeguards), City of Santa Clarita Aquatics Center Lifeguards, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Castaic Life Guards, and Aqua Net, Inc. Emergency room physicians from Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles told firsthand stories of patients they treated to help encourage parents to take steps to avoid a drowning tragedy. Radio Disney performers entertained guests and distributed water safety movies, and Stewie the Duck presented morning and afternoon story time sessions to help kids learn to swim for safety.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department proudly acknowledged its many community partners for participating in this lifesaving event, including Walmart and many others. For more information about next years event, contact LACoFD Community Services Liaison Stephanie English at (661) 287-3690, or the Fire Department’s Public Information Team at (323) 881-2411.