Today, we had the honor of recognizing the Everett Foundation at our Board meeting. As summer is in full swing, more people flock to pools and beaches to beat the heat. We all must prioritize water safety, particularly for children.
Statistics show that drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 4 years old, with a staggering 69% of drownings occurring when a child is not expected to be near water, often in as little as 6 seconds.
In the wake of the devastating loss of their 23-month-old son, Everett James, to drowning, Nicole Papandrea founded the non-profit organization "Remembering Everett Foundation" on July 7th, 2019. The Foundation promotes water safety practices and provides Survival Swim training for infants and toddlers.
The Survival Swim Lesson Program involves certified Infant Swimming Resource Instructors, spanning 6 to 8 weeks. Nicole's team advocates for children to acquire Survival Swim skills before age 5. They educate children and guardians on preventive measures to avoid drowning incidents. This training equips children with basic floating and breathing techniques that can be utilized in emergencies.
In support of National Drowning Prevention Day on July 25th, our office has provided funds for free swim lessons at the YMCA in Oceanside and the Autism Society of San Diego. These initiatives aim to lower the cost of swim lessons for individuals with Autism and promote water safety.
We express our heartfelt gratitude to Nicole for sharing her personal experience and tireless efforts in teaching drowning prevention techniques, which have undoubtedly saved lives and spared families from the profound grief of losing a loved one.
As a County committed to recognizing and honoring organizations that embody the highest ideals of our community, the "Remembering Everett Foundation" stands out as a remarkable example. Today, we proudly proclaim July as "REMEMBERING EVERETT FOUNDATION WATER SAFETY MONTH" throughout San Diego County. We commend Nicole for her outstanding advocacy work in drowning prevention safety and the entire team at the Everett Foundation for their dedication to teaching children the vital "swim, float, swim" survival methods and promoting drowning precautions and techniques.