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For Immediate Release: June 5, 2024

Contact: FDEM Communications Team,

ICYMI: Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez Highlights Water Safety for Floridians

ORMOND BEACH, Fla.Today, Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Shevaun Harris, State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, and Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Taylor Hatch highlighted resources, education, and tips for water safety and drowning prevention.

“Governor Ron DeSantis and I know that Florida is the best place to be year-round, but especially in the summer,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “As Floridians and their families go outdoors to enjoy all that the Sunshine State has to offer, we want to make sure they do it in a way that is safe and enjoyable. As a result, it’s important that we bring awareness to water safety and share things that families can do to prevent drowning and water-related injuries.”

“The Department of Children and Families is committed to ensuring the well-being of all children and families and as we kick off a fun summer season, it is vital that children, parents, and caregivers exercise safe swimming practices,” said DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris. “Sadly, we continue to see an increase in the number of preventable drownings across our state, and this summer and all year long, DCF is encouraging all Floridians to ensure that water safety measures are in place near any bodies of water."

Drowning can be prevented. The State of Florida collaborates with numerous state and local partners to provide education, tips, and resources on water safety and drowning prevention.

Here are some important steps you can take to ensure safety around the water:

  • Always supervise children in and around water.
  • Consider participating in swim lessons.
  • Learn CPR and first aid.
  • Ensure that pool barriers and gates meet state law requirements.
  • Follow life jacket laws and make sure life jackets are properly fitted.
  • Check local conditions, such as weather, rip tides, and marine life before heading out to the water.

“Drowning can be silent and happen in the amount of time it takes to check a text on your phone,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “By designating a Water Watcher and using barriers such as a fence, you can protect your children while safely enjoying activities at the pool and beach this summer.”

“Florida’s natural climate creates many enjoyable recreational opportunities centered around water, and that is why today’s event is critical to amplifying the message of water safety for all Floridians,” said Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Taylor Hatch. “Some individuals with disabilities, such as those with autism spectrum disorder, are attracted to water’s sensory impact. Therefore, it’s critical to share proven steps that we can all take to promote water safety, minimize risk, and encourage enjoyable experiences.”

In 2024, 46 children have tragically drowned in Florida. The majority of these incidents occurred in swimming pools, with 76.3% happening during non-swim times when a child is not expected to be in or near water. Let's work together to raise awareness about water safety and prevent such heartbreaking accidents.

For more information on water safety tips, please visit