On this Child Safety Source episode, we'll be talking to our first returning guest, Alissa Magrum!
Alissa Magrum is the Executive Director of Colin's Hope. Colin’s Hope was formed in 2008 after 4 year old Colin Holst tragically drowned in a public pool, with lifeguards on duty and family members present. Their mission is to raise water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning. Drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. While no-one is drownproof, drowning IS preventable.
Scott is the Program Director - Safety Around Water for the Florida Alliance of YMCAs Foundation. He has been a YMCA leader for over 10 years in communications, membership, and aquatics at Florida YMCAs around the state. He has also served on state & national task forces around safety, aquatics, & advocacy. He currently serves as the facilitator of WaterSmart FL, the state drowning prevention task force.
Kathleen Wilson is founder and owner of SwimCalm, an innovative program that teaches adults with fear of water how to swim. This life altering program combines the mental and physical, proving to the student that the water is a friendly medium and it is well within their capacity to learn to be comfortable in any depth of water and swim. The program enjoys an extremely high rate of success among its graduates due to its premise of healing fear rather than simply managing fear. When not teaching a SwimCalm class, Kathleen Wilson is an internationally known and highly experienced marathon swimmer with a world class resume of swims. She teaches and coaches aquatics at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Student Wellness center. She is the creator and race director for the annual Swim Around Charleston, a 12 mile open water swim event held in early fall each year and several swims registered in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as firsts. Kathleen was enshrined into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in May, 2018. When not in the water, Kathleen is a conservatory-trained professional harpist, holding a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music and has been principal harpist with the Charleston Symphony since 1987. She also holds an adjunct teaching positions at both the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University while maintaining a busy schedule of providing music for special events. She also served the city of Charleston as a three term councilmember for the city of Charleston, representing District 12 and acting as Mayor Pro Tempore in 2008. She is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor a citizen of South Carolina may receive and is a 2010 Liberty Fellow.
Kari Bahour became a water safety and drowning prevention advocate after her 16 month old son experienced a non-fatal drowning incident at a friend's pool 19 years ago. Despite the proper pool barriers and 3 adults in the home, her infant son managed to briefly escape adult supervision ending up in a cold pool floating face down and unconscious. Thankfully her son survived without complications but Kari was well aware her son's situation could have ended in tragedy. After doing her own research on swim programs, Kari enrolled her 16 month old son in a 6 week infant self-rescue swim program. Amazed at the aquatic problem solving skills her son learned, she passionately pursued becoming a survival swimming instructor to provide these essential lifesaving skills to more children.
Since 2000, she has had the privilege and honor of teaching aquatic self-rescue swimming skills to thousands of infants and young children. In 2008, Kari underwent additional extensive training to where she became qualified to train and mentor other instructors in the self-rescue methodology. Kari has trained instructors in Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Drowning prevention and water safety became Kari's passion. She fiercely pursued many other avenues where she can make a difference and bring awareness to the pediatric drowning epidemic.
Unfortunately tragedy struck again and Kari realized her efforts were just not enough. On Mother's Day weekend in 2014, four pediatric drownings in a single weekend occurred in the Tampa Bay Area. To Kari, this was was unacceptable and she knew more had to be done to prevent these tragedies from occurring. In 2014, she founded Water Smart Tots.
Water Smart Tots, Inc. is a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to eliminating pediatric drowning in the Greater Tampa Bay Area by promoting awareness through water safety education and by providing scholarships for one-on-one survival swimming skills to children ages 12 months to 6 years who are financially underprivileged, or who have special needs. She wanted to give back to her community, and believed that every child deserves the opportunity to learn survival swimming skills regardless of financial hardship or special need.
A list of honors and awards for Water Smart Tots can be found here: http://www.watersmarttots.org/honors-aw…
To date, more than 2000 preschoolers have been educated about water safety through our complimentary preschool water safety presentations. More than 300 children have received specialized one-on-one survival swimming lessons in the Tampa Bay Area.
A lifelong swimmer and advocate for water safety, Nate Tschohl has been around water his entire life. The son of a retired United States Coast Guard Captain, he grew up with a keen sense of the importance of water safety while living near the Great Lakes, Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. His passion for swimming and drowning prevention led him to volunteering for the Virginia Special Olympics, the Josh Project, and ultimately toward raising water safety awareness via International Water Safety Day (IWSD).
Tschohl has reached thousands in his quest to teach water safety education. Tschohl has led learn-to-swim projects in his local community and beyond. In 2014, he helped run a learn to swim program on the remote Maldivian island of Eydafushi which was captured and documented in Jon Bowermaster’s documentary, “Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives”. The program has continued to this day.
A graduate of Old Dominion University where he was a two time Captain for their Division I varsity swim team. He went on to become Old Dominion’s Assistant Men’s and Women’s Swim Coach as well as the Senior Head Coach for Tidewater Aquatic Club for several years. Tschohl is currently the President & CEO of Swimnerd which builds Bluetooth programmable pace clocks for the swimming industry. He resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with his wife Carly and their two beloved mutts, Tim & Fran.
Jamie Goetsch spent 30 years in the computer software industry. In that time he worked for large worldwide companies and small startups. He saw several major technology disruptions and new technology adoption cycles in that time. Several years ago he was introduced to the size and scope of the drowning problem. He was at first shocked by the facts. He, like most people, did not know that it is the number one cause of unintentional death in 1-4 yrs, and number two 5-15. As he learned more, and especially after his first NDPA yearly meeting, he began to understand and internalize the huge societal cost and the crushing, but incalculable, pain and suffering that drowning causes year after year. The opportunity to bring a proven technology to the US market that can add an additional layer of safety to pools, and help reduce death and injury from drowning, has been gratifying.
Founder of Miracle Swimming in 1983, Melon stepped down as CEO at MSA on November 1, 2017 to pursue the next level of Miracle Swimming's reach. As a consultant for MSA and president of Miracle Swimming Institute, she demonstrates the imperative use of the universal laws of learning to teach afraid adults to swim in order to end drowning worldwide. Learning to swim is inevitable and guaranteed using these laws which are founded on mindfulness. To see the basis of this infallible system of teaching, go to 5CirclesTeachingMethod.com.
After spending a decade as an entrepreneur and consultant, Rebecca turned her focus to the hidden global epidemic of drowning in 2007. She developed the concept and the strategy for Make the Minute Matter Inc, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness, providing water safety education and raising funding for skills-based training programs around the world. A talented public speaker, blogger, and active presence on social media, Rebecca is also the author of “Start An Epidemic: Ignite Changes With Social Marketing”.
Mick Nelson is the Senior Director of Facilities Development for USA Swimming. He and his wife Sue formed their own swim club and built their first indoor facility in Danville Illinois in 1973. In 1974 they formed Nelson’s Swim Supply a retail and wholesale pool/spa and aquatic equipment business. In 1982 they formed NSS Inc which offered aquatic facility design, building, and business consultation to the aquatic industry. In 1994 they formed WaterWay Therapy Inc. which was one of the first and only privately owned and operated Medicare approved outpatient Aquatic Physical Therapy centers in the country. In 2002 they formed Poolside Health & Wellness Center which became the home for the Turtles USA Swim Club, WaterWay Therapy, and Swim America learn-to- swim program and a full-service land and water community health and wellness center. Their specialty is aquatic programming, business development, water treatment and aquatic facility design. Since joining USA Swimming in 2004, they have presented at over 90 major national and international aquatic conferences and conventions and conducted over 70 Build and Program a Pool Conferences/workshops. They have been involved in design and programming of 160 new facilities with 12 more currently in the design phase and programming feasibility stages. They serve on over 15 national and international committees and BOD’s that are focused on swimming, aquatic health & wellness, and drowning prevention.
RICH SPECHT is a father of four who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Mary Washington and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University. Prior to embarking on his career as a public speaker and advocate for kindness and water safety, Rich was a science teacher for 15 years at Great Hollow Middle School, in Nesconset, New York. In addition to his speaking, Rich is also the published author of the award winning children’s book A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness and the upcoming A Little Rees Specht Stops a Bully and A Little Rees Specht for Water Safety. Rich and his wife, Samantha, are the co-founders of the ReesSpecht Life Foundation which they formed in the wake of the loss of their only son, Richard Edwin-Ehmer (Rees) Specht at 22 months old. The acts of kindness that the family received after Rees’ passing inspired them to “pay forward” that kindness; which the foundation does in the form of scholarships for High School seniors who demonstrate a commitment to their community, compassion and respect, as well as the distribution of over a half a million ReesSpecht Life “pay it forward” cards. The foundation also provides free water safety school assemblies called “ReesSpecht the Water” which have reached over 50,000 students on Long Island in the past five years. The themes and characters from Rich’s book(s) are currently slated to become an animated children’s television series in production with RC Productions Inc. The book and television adaptations of A Little Rees Specht Cultivates Kindness represents the culmination of Rich’s goal to help make this world a little better, one Rees’ piece at a time. Rich currently resides in Sound Beach, New York with his wife, Samantha, daughters, Abigail, Lorilei and Melina as well as his angel above, Rees.
Here on the Child Safety Source, we always aim to help protect children from harm. Our Child Safety Source series typically sits down to interview pool safety experts. Today, we’re doing something a little bit different. Let’s take a quick step away from the water to discuss oral hygiene with dental hygienist, Jessica Cooper.
For a change of pace, this episode will include both an interview and some live demonstrations. As always, our own Eric Lupton is pleased to join Jessica Cooper for an in-depth conversation about her particular area of expertise. Additionally, viewers will learn an awesome new technique to brush and floss a toddler’s teeth. Along the way, Jessica Cooper will be answering all of our viewers questions.
This was a lot of fun and we’re glad that Jessica took the time to join us. You can watch Eric and Jessica’s conversation and the toddler tooth brushing demonstration right here:
Rory Antley Sheffield was born a firecracker. He was walking by 9 months and never stopped once he got vertical. He was the joy of his family and Daddy named him his “Little Warrior”. He loved firetrucks and would watch numerous videos of them going out on calls. One of his favorite videos built a firetruck from the tires up and he could name each part. But he was more than that, he was my baby boy, he was my #4. Rory was Momma’s boy but Daddy’s warrior. He had so much love and life to give but tragedy took him too soon. Rory's mom and the founder of Rory the Warrior, Sherry-Dawn Sheffield, is featured on this episode. Listen and find out why every paramedic needs a HERO Bag!
Alan Korn is the executive director of the Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation where he assists the organization in its management, public policy, marketing and public relations efforts. Before joining AHCF, he was the executive director and general counsel for Safe Kids USA, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide’s global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. While at Safe Kids, he led the over 600 coalitions and chapters in the Safe Kids USA network of child injury prevention advocates. He also directed the public policy agenda at the federal level and guided the coalitions in their state advocacy efforts. In addition, he advised the organization on legal issues such as trademark, copyright, contract and liability. Mr. Korn makes presentations around the country on government’s role in child injury prevention and liability issues associated with community-based safety programs. He has testified many times before Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures on issues of injury prevention and has appeared as a child safety expert on the Today Show, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, Fox News, CNN and NPR as well as in dozens of magazines and newspapers. Mr. Korn is an attorney and a member of the Missouri and District of Columbia Bar. Prior to his work for non-profits in both Washington, DC and Minneapolis, MN, he practiced law for five years in St. Louis, Missouri, specializing in health law, consumer protection and litigation. Mr. Korn received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He is married, has one child and resides in Washington, D.C.
On the 26th episode of the Child Safety Source, we'll be talking to Jenn Richardson!
Jenn is a mom of 3 awesome kiddos, a Certified ISR instructor, A.H.A. BLS Health Care Provider and Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.
On the 25th episode of the Child Safety Source, we will be speaking with Johnny Johnson!
Johnny Johnson has journeyed from being a student in 1959, to teacher, and now owner of Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin, CA. In the past 51 years he has taught thousands of children to swim and is now teaching many third generation students.
On Episode 24 of the Child Safety Source, we'll be talking go Michelle Sinsworth Zieg!
Michelle is the founder of Because of B.R.A.Y.D.E.N., a non-profit started after her son Brayden fatally drowned in their backyard pool in June of 2008 when he was just 17 months old. Hear her story and learn how your pool can be made safer to prevent a tragedy.
On the 23rd episode of the Child Safety Source, we'll be talking to Stephanie Marie Robertson.
Stephanie is the founder of Nathan's Water Wings. It is an organization geared towards preventing and stopping childhood drowning in honor of her son Nathan. They give scholarships for ISR lessons, help with cost of poop fencing, pool alarms, window and door alarms and help families who have lost a child to drowning.
Max Gomez tragically lost his son Max Jr. to drowning, and because of this him and his wife started Maxi's Gift Foundation. Their goal is to help prevent accidental drowning by offering free swimming lessons, educating people on pool and water safety, and helping to save as many lives as possible.
Dr. Andrea Burns is a well-known board certified Pediatrician who has been practicing in the Orlando and Seminole County areas since 2008. She is known for her community involvement, as a speaker and volunteer, as well as her warm bedside manner, medical expertise and genuine love for children.
Mario Vittone’s first experience with at-sea emergencies was as ship’s company aboard the USS Coral Sea, a WWII era aircraft carrier., in 1985. Joining the Coast Guard in 1991 he worked at Training Center Cape May before transferring to the Cutter Point Franklin as a helmsman and small boat coxswain. He graduated from Helicopter Rescue Swimmer School in 1994 and began his career in helicopter rescue with two tours at Air Station Elizabeth City, one at Air Station New Orleans, then finally as an instructor and course developer at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, NC. He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013 following four years as a vessel inspector and accident investigator in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mario is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, SaltWater Sportsman, MotorBoating Magazine, Lifelines, On-Scene, and Reader’s Digest.
Natalie Forood earned her degree in Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and has been one of the few Silicon Valley women software engineers and managers, working for several successful computer networking startups and high-profile companies. Combining her love for technology, engineering and solving challenging industry problems, she became a licensed general building contractor and started her own residential construction business, building high end luxury homes most of which have pools.
After hearing about a man who got electrocuted in his pool while saving his daughter, she was compelled to develop a device that would detect electricity in water to prevent electric shock drowning (ESD). There have been many similar stories in the news about people getting electrocuted in pools, marinas, tubs and spas, so a safety device that can alert people when this condition arises was paramount. She is currently augmenting her patent portfolio with wavES™, a unique patent-pending pool safe
Richard Kauffman's daughter fatally drowned in a public pool 8 feet away from a lifeguard while in the care of her babysitter. Rick joins us on the 25th anniversary of his daughter's death, June 15, 2018, to tell his story, the Kels Group, and the Drowning Warriors.
Scott Wolfson has more than 20 years of experience with national media relations and executive communications with a specialty in public health and product safety. He served as communications director and senior advisor to multiple Chairmen at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. When he was at CPSC, Scott oversaw the creation of the award winning Pool Safely and Anchor It campaigns. He now serves as the director of media relations at a communications and consulting firm in the DC area. He works closely with the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Paula DiGrigoli is the Executive Director of the NCH Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition and a board member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. Paula is a tireless advocate for child safety and public health, previously working on child obesity, SIDS, and drowning prevention.
Jessica Barnes is a wife, mother, teacher and founder of Cayla’s Coats. Cayla’s Coats was founded in memory of her daughter, Cayla, who drowned at the age of 20 months on a canal in the waters of Homosassa. Jessica, her husband Sean, and sons Aidan and Brantley, have taken Cayla’s tragic death and are spreading the word about the importance of water safety education and prevention within their community of Citrus County, FL. They have provided coats to children within the local school system, provided education and materials to local elementary school and preschools as well as providing a life jacket loaner station at their community beach. Jessica and Sean want to make sure that their story doesn’t become your story
Pool Safety Mom, Mary Ann Downing, is a tireless water safety advocate out of San Diego. Formally a board member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, and now member of several water safety organizations, she volunteers constantly to reduce the number of fatal drowning incidents in California and nation wide.
Our interview with Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of the non-profit organization Colin's Hope!Have the best day ever! That was the motto of Colin Holst. the inspiration of Colin's Hope, and is now the mantra of Colin's Hope's vibrant Executive Director: Alissa Magrum. Colin’s Hope was formed in 2008 after 4 year old Colin Holst tragically drowned in a public pool, with lifeguards on duty and family members present. Our mission is to raise water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning. Drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental death for children under 5 and a leading cause for ages 1-14. While no-one is drown-proof, drowning IS preventable.
Gerald M. Dworkin (Gerry) is a professional Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue Consultant for Lifesaving Resources LLC, a company dedicated to drowning and aquatic injury prevention and emergency management. As a frequent guest speaker and trainer in the Lifeguard, Aquatics Safety and Recreation sector, as well as the Public Safety and Rescue sector, he is recognized internationally as an expert and qualified educator in drowning and aquatic injury prevention and emergency management.
The very first episode of the Child Safety Resource! We're here interviewing Casey Buckley, of Life Saver Pool Fence! Casey is a pool safety expert in Palm Beach County, Florida and a local entrepreneur. In this episode, we discuss how to properly protect your pool and the benefits of a mesh pool safety fence.
May 31, 2018
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