I know like a lot of other parents, we have spent numerous hours of this quarantine playing in the water. Pools, sprinklers, slip-n-slides, backyard splash pads.
Water in Florida is just another part of life.
But are your kids safe? I know even asking that question you automatically started shaking your head yes, and thinking that something could never happen to YOUR kid. I hope you are right.
Keri and Roarke Morrison thought the same thing.
Live Like Jake Foundation was created after the tragic drowning death of their son, Jake Morrison at the age of 2 years, 10 months, while on vacation. They didn’t want this to happen to anyone else, so created the Foundation to raise awareness for childhood drowning prevention. They encourage self-rescue swim lessons as well as provide scholarships for those who cannot afford them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
Keri and Roarke now have two daughters: Julia, age 6, and Josie, age 5. They have both graduated from their Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) and swim like fish. They encourage all parents to get self-rescue swim ISR lessons for their children as soon as possible.
What You Can Do
While you are home, we ask you to stay vigilant. Follow these safe swimming tips and do all you can to protect your children.
Safe swim tips:
1. Constant supervision – Drowning happens when there is a lapse (not lack) in supervision. Stay vigilant when a child is near water.
2. Designate a water watcher, this can be in 15-minute shifts, to ensure that there are always eyes on the water.
3. Install a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gate that is 4-6 ft.
4. Remove all pool toys when the pool is not in use and remove furniture by the pool that can be used as a climbing tool for smaller children. Try to remove all temptation of entering the water.
5. All caregivers should learn CPR so that if there is an emergency, you are skilled in what to do and can move quickly. Be sure to update your skills regularly.
6. Removal of dog doors that can be potentially easy exits for small children.
7. Add alarms that will sound when doors or windows are opened, and that can sound when the child touches water.
8. Quality Self-Rescue Swim lessons – even for infants – can serve as an added layer of protection and can save the lives of children.
If a child is missing ALWAYS check the water first!
In light of the pandemic, Live Like Jake Foundation has rescheduled their annual 5K event for August 29th, 2020 in Abacoa Town Center, Jupiter, Florida.
Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) is once again the event’s Life Saver Sponsor and the parents and younger siblings of Jake Morrison will honor his life by raising awareness for the prevention of childhood drowning.
The Walk will begin at 7:00 a.m. (registration opens at 6:00 a.m.) and will feature a timed 5K run, 5K walk, 1 mile memorial walk and kids fun run. In addition, attendees can visit the kids zone filled with activities for children of all ages.
“We are excited to once again host this event,” said Keri Morrison, executive director of the Foundation, and mother to Jake Morison. “Drowning prevention classes are something that literally cannot wait. We need to raise money, award scholarships, and help prepare children with water safety skills.”
Since the Foundation was created, more than 1,800 ISR self-rescue swim lesson scholarships have been awarded. “Without the support of our local community, this work would not be possible. Together, with multiple layers of safety and survival swim lessons, we can save lives,” continued Morrison.
If you go:
Where: Abacoa Town Center, 1260 University Blvd, Jupiter, FL 33458
When: August 29, 2020
Schedule: 6:00 a.m. Race Day registration opens
7:00 a.m. Timed 5K Run and 5K Walk
7:45 a.m. Jake’s Mile – 1 mile memorial walk
8:15 a.m. FREE Kids Fun Run
8:30 a.m. Awards for 5K age group winners
8 – 10:00 a.m. FREE Kids Zone
For more event details, visit livelikejake5k.com/event-details/.