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How Was Great Strides Founded:
Drowning Prevention Initiative
Great Strides for Children’s Drowning Prevention Initiative.
Every year almost 800 children in the US drown. More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. For children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. In addition, Florida was ranked 5th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate among children ages 0 to 17 years of age. In Jacksonville alone there were several child drownings or near-drownings in 2021.
Among children with special needs drowning rates can be significantly higher. In fact, 91 percent of all wandering-related deaths among autistic children were due to accidental drowning.
Children who experience “near drownings”, can be left with serious after affects including motor and cognitive deficits which can affect them for the rest of their lives.
Great Strides for Children, a newly formed non-profit organization with the goal of helping children with special needs and their families recognizes the importance of drowning prevention and has established a drowning prevention initiative.
The initiative aims to help prevent drownings among the local special needs community. The funds raised for this initiative will be utilized in multiple ways. The initiative aims to provide drowning prevention education to the special needs community, provide door and pool alarms to families of children with special needs and to provide therapist aided swim lessons to children with special needs.
Great Strides for Children believes if even one instance of child drowning can be prevented the efforts of this initiative will be worthwhile.