Grandmother of boy who drowned urges caution around water

Consumer Product Safety Commission report finds child drownings on the rise

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of child drownings is on the rise, according to a new report released Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In the last year, seven children drowned in Northeast Florida. One of those children was 8-year-old Na’Shawn Brooker

“His memory always going to be in my heart," said Na’Shawn's grandmother, Martha Maners. "I’m always going to miss him. That was my boy."

Na’Shawn drowned in his cousin's pool in Panama Park on Aug. 4, 2018. 

“There’s not a day where I don’t think about him," Maners said. "I cry every day. Every day, I cry. People just don’t know how much I cry."

According to the Department of Children and Families, Maners walked inside to use the bathroom, only leaving the children for a few minutes. That’s when Na’Shawn went under. The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office ruled his death an accident. 

The CPSC calls drownings a public health crisis and the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children ages 1 to 4.

Finding many of these deadly accidents happen in residential locations emphasizes the importance of staying vigilant around water.

“Accidents happen real quick, so I’m just telling everybody please be careful, said Maner. 

Safe Kids Northeast Florida offered these simple tips for parents to remember:

  • Always have someone watching kids near water. 
  • Put up as many barriers around water as possible. 
  • Put kids in swim lessons.
  • Learn CPR.
  • The First Coast YMCA is doing its part to help prevent drownings through its “Safety Around Water” campaign, which includes free swim tests and lessons on life-saving skills. 

    On Saturday, YMCA will be hosting Splash Bash open house event, which means you can enjoy a family swim or take your swim test. Find your nearest YMCA location.

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