In September 2015 the Pfeffer family, mom Dr. Heather Landau and dad, Daniel Pfeffer, tragically lost their precious daughter Saige to drowning. Now, this family’s 12 year old twins, Samantha and Harley, are taking the lead to educate at-risk families (families with children under the age of 5) and spread awareness about the importance of water safety.
By partnering with Westmed Medical Group, the Pfeffer’s goal is to distribute 2,000 “Water Guardian lanyards” to families in the Westchester community. The hope is that this initiative will remind adults that drowning most often does not happen during “swim time”. Any time young children have access to water, multiple layers of safety are required to prevent drowning – the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 years old.
Drowning can happen unexpectedly and in seconds. The “Water Guardian lanyards” being distributed by the Westmed Pediatrics team are meant to be worn at all times by the designated Water Guardian. This simple strategy serves as a reminder of the risk of drowning and prevents confusion with respect to who is “on duty”, especially while adults are busy with other responsibilities (preparing dinner, cleaning up). Should the guardian leave the area, the intention is for this person to give the lanyard to another responsible adult who will take on the role of guardian.
In addition to discussing the importance of vaccines and car seat safety with their patients, Westmed’s pediatricians want parents to make drowning prevention a priority for families. If you are heading to your child’s well visit in the coming months, be sure to ask your pediatrician for a Water Guardian lanyard so you can use it to spread the word about drowning prevention and keep your children safe.
For more information on water safety and drowning prevention check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ dedicated resource guide.
To learn more about the Pfeffer family’s efforts in the community, watch the news clip below or go to their foundation website www.smilesforsaige.com .