By Laurie Kobliska, Editor
STOCKTON DESK - The 'Blue Alert' is a new program designed to Save Children From Drowning. It is a powerful video message aimed at helping parents circumvent the dangers of backyard pools and spas.
Recently at the Irvine Child Development Center, in California, a class of pre-schoolers attended a safety seminar on the prevention of drowning.
Spearheaded by local Fire Authorities and Childrens' Hospitals, the "Blue Alert" campaign aims to educate parents and their children.
A 60-second video message and other educational tools are used as the spring and summer "drowning season" gets underway and children gravitate toward pools and backyard spas.
Drowning is the leading cause of death by injury for children younger than 5 in California.
Across California, drowning kills about 100 children a year. In addition, for every drowning death, health officials say that two to 20 children are near-drowning victims, and many of these children suffer brain damage and long-term disabilities.
Parents don't think it's going to happen to them because they're responsible.
The public service announcement video, which will be distributed to local cable companies, shows three toys floating in a crystal blue pool. An announcer then asks the audience to listen for sounds of a child drowning. Complete silence follows. Then the screams of a distraught woman are heard.
Other educational tools have also been developed for the prevention program. Magnetic signs that read: "Watch the Water"are part of the program.
Children Drown Without a Sound," will be placed on Fire Authority engines and Children's Hospital vans.
Literature on pool safety, supervision, protective fencing and barriers for pools and spas and colorful "Water Watcher" tags can be picked up free at fire stations.
For information on drowning prevention and CPR classes, call your local fire department