In light of the recent deaths that have occurred in residential pools and out on the open water surrounding Long Island, it is very important to stress the need for water safety. Every parent must take the opportunity to remember safety first when their families enjoy the pool at home, or using the pool of a neighbor. We all realize that even the best and most responsible parents can take their eyes off a child for a second. In that moment, an accident can occur. Even though the incidents as of late have been adult victims, children are especially at risk.
The best way to decrease the risk of drowning is to learn water safety tips and make sure you are familiar with life saving techniques like CPR. There is still time left in the season to teach your children to swim. Do not forget that parents also need to be competent swimmers so that they can jump into the water if the situation demands. Everyone must be aware that home pools must be surrounded with a fence equipped with a self-closing gate and alarm. Life-saving/flotation devices with a retrievable rope are a must. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) must be properly fitted for adults and children on boats and are a smart idea poolside as well.
At home, have your local fire department and emergency medical service numbers next to your home phone and on the speed dial of your cell phone. If onboard a boat, have both a working radio AND a cell phone. For all emergency situations, preparedness, training and a cool head are important components to keep an accident from becoming a tragedy. And remember, in case of severe emergencies, dialing 9-1-1 is a sure bet.
The American Red Cross provides detailed information on pool safety and provides classes for life saving and CPR. Your town and village offices will answer any questions regarding requirements for pool safety devices. For boat safety information, please contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
You can receive additional information on all of these groups and training courses by attending my annual Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo on September 7, 2008 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. This event introduces families to boating, fishing, kayaking, safety instruction, and much more. This event has many activities suitable for children of all ages with a Rock and Roll and Blues concert for adults to enjoy as well. We will exhibit a kite-boarding air show if the wind cooperates/ Free t-shirts and goodies are provided. This event will take place at the Jones Beach West End Boat Basin and the only thing people will have to pay for is the usual $8 New York State Beach parking fee – everything else is free!
I hope that I will see you all there. Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about safety, marine life, conservation, environmental protection and enjoy an unforgettable experience with your children, family and friends. For more information, please call my district office at 516-844-0635.