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Health and Safety Fair held at Pine Island Pool

May 16, 2012
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Families had the opportunity to enjoy a free day of swimming and food, while learning about health and safety at the Pine Island Pool Saturday during the 2nd annual Health and Safety Fair.

Hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked on the grill for families to enjoy with watermelon, chips and drink as they took a break from swimming.

The Pine Island Fire Department did free blood pressure checks during the event and the Lee Memorial Blood Mobile and Radiology Regional Mammo Coach were parked outside in the parking lot for individuals to take advantage of their services.

Article Photos

Meghan McCoy

Hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked on the grill for everyone to enjoy during the 2nd annual Health and Safety Fair at the Pine Island pool Saturday afternoon.

Lee Hagan and Marco Calixto, members of Ground Down, provided free music during the event for everyone to enjoy.

The Red Cross Florida Southern Gulf Region and the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida Kohl's Cares program provided free information to parents about preparing for hurricanes, water safety and drowning.

Charity Godfrey of Disaster Education for AmeriCorps said she provided information about how to prepare for hurricanes by creating a grab-and-go kit for three days. She said the kit should include a first aid kit, flashlight with batteries, copies of identification, medication log, a family communication plan, clothing and hygiene products. Godfrey said the kit is intended for evacuation and sheltering purposes.

Since emotional health is really important to her, she goes to schools and teaches children as young as 1st graders about how to create a grab-and-go kit. She said she hands out masters of disaster certificates to the children once it is completed.

Scrubby Bear, the Red Cross mascot, was also at the event to teach proper hand washing techniques.

Lina Quintana, coordinator for the Kohl's Kids Safety Program for the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, was also at the event Saturday handing out literature about water safety and drowning prevention.

"Drowning is 100 percent preventable with proper barriers," she said.

According to a brochure Quintana handed out during the event, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under 5 years old in the state of Florida.

Supervision, Quintana said, is the most important safety measure a parent can give to their children to prevent drowning from occurring.

"I can't express supervision enough," she said.

There are six layers of protection to prevent drowning from occurring.

The first prevention is touch supervision, which means an adult should always be in an arm's length from the child who is swimming. A child should never be left alone while in the pool.

The second prevention consists of barriers. Some of those barriers include surrounding a pool with a fence that is at least 5 feet tall that has a self-closing or self-latching gate. Alarms can also be installed on doors and windows that lead to the pool, as well as a pool alarm to detect if any motion is going on in the pool.

Water safety is also another important prevention of drowning. Some of those safety measures include non-swimmers using life vests when near the water, along with a lifesaving ring or shepherd's hook in the pool area in case of an emergency. Water safety and swimming lessons are also important for children.

The fourth prevention measure is environmental safety. Adults should cover the pool drain to prevent entrapment from occurring, as well as the risk of drowning. Motorized pool covers should also be used that can support the weight of a child, as well as being tight enough to prevent a child from crawling under them to get in the pool. When children are done playing in the pool, all toys should be removed, so they are not tempted to reach for them and fall in. Chemicals should also be out of a child's reach.

The fifth prevention measure is keeping a phone by the pool, so an adult never has to leave the pool to answer it and children can dial 911 if needed.

The last prevention measure for drowning is learning how to do CPR. All children should be taught CPR and first aid. For more information about learning CPR call the Red Cross at 239-278-3401 or

Information was also handed out at the Health and Safety Fair about a free discount prescription card that can be obtained by visiting



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