For Child Safety Source, we just adore speaking with safety experts who work to keep our children safe. Today, we’re proud to share our thirty-minute video interview with Jessica Barnes. Jessica is a water safety advocate and the founder of Cayla’s Coats, a non-profit organization based in Citrus County, Florida.

Over the course of our video interview, Jessica sat down with Life Saver Pool Fence President, Eric Lupton. The two discussed her work and her dedication to keeping children safe. The conversation first took place via Facebook Live, but now you can watch it right here as well:

The Mission of Cayla’s Coats

Jessica’s non-profit was started because of a personal tragedy. Sadly, as she explains in the video, her daughter Cayla fatally drowned at the tender age of one. Even in light of this awful event, some hope did rise. Jessica and her husband Sean began Cayla’s Coats in memory of her lost daughter, Cayla Barnes.

The organization works to spread education across her local area. As we often say, drownings are preventable. It is the mission of Cayla’s Coats to spread awareness of drowning prevention techniques and lessons. After all, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children from ages one through four. This message mirrors our own here at Life Saver Pool Fence. We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security. Unlikely drowning hazards are all around us. We can only hope to stop these terrible occurrences through providing education and bringing attention to proper safety precautions.

More Than Just Education

There is another element to Cayla’s Coats. When it comes to water safety, Jessica and her team operate a life jacket loaner station to those in need at their community beach. As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, it’s crucial that people use the proper life preserver. Something you can buy at the store, such as floaties, may not actually be able to prevent a child from drowning. Instead, always choose a U.S. Coast Guard-certified life jacket.

Jessica and Sean’s non-profit helps people outside of the water as well. The non-profit also works diligently to provide winter coats to those in need. Obviously, people from all across the country can understand this need. Keeping kids warm is as equally noble a goal as water safety. They have provided coats to children within the local school system, provided education and materials to local elementary school and preschools.

Finally, Cayla’s Coats provides funding to local organizations that offer swimming lessons. This way, children will not be denied an educational opportunity to learn how to float and swim. Ultimately, Jessica and Sean want to make sure that their story doesn’t become your story.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with Eric, Jessica! Your efforts make the world a better and safer place for both children and adults!

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