With Westchester County pools open for the season, below are safety tips for residents and their families.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury or death among children ages 1 to 4 and is the second leading cause among children 5 to 9; parents should watch their children when they are in or near the water.
Children should never swim alone and should only swim when a lifeguard is present. Westchester County pools and beaches are staffed with trained lifeguards, but parents and guardians are the first line of defense for swim safety. It is critical for parents to stay within arm’s reach of infants and toddlers in the water, as well as keeping their eyes on children playing in or near the shore. Pool floats, inner tubes, water wings and noodles are no substitute for close supervision. Swimming and alcohol, just like boating and alcohol, don’t mix.
Be sure you and your family drink lots of water throughout the day at the pool or beach to avoid heat exhaustion. Wear a hat and sunglasses, avoid the midday sun and reapply broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every two hours, especially after you swim or sweat, to avoid sunburn.
More summer safety tips from the Westchester County Department of Health:
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Never to swim alone.
- Don’t swim in pools or beaches that are closed.
- Always watch your children around water and never leave a child unattended.
- Designate a water watcher to supervise children as they swim. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone, or otherwise distracted.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure that pools have drain covers that comply with the federal safety standards.
- At the beach, never fight currents; swim parallel to shore and at an angle if you find yourself in a rip current.
Three county pools will be offering Learn-to-Swim programs: Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers, Playland Pool in Rye and Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains.