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WESTCHESTER COUNTY HIGHLIGHTS OUTDOOR SAFETY FOR JULY FOURTH WEEKEND

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD; Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Kathy O’Connor and Public Safety Chief Inspector James Luciano shared outdoor summer safety advice at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle ahead of the July Fourth Weekend.

Latimer said: “On the Fourth of July we come together as Westchester residents and as Americans to celebrate our nation’s independence and freedom. In anticipation of this weekend, we look forward to seeing local families and their guests take advantage of what this great County has to offer from our parks to our pools and beaches. We want to encourage everyone to stay safe.”

Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Families should always designate an adult to watch the children when there is a pool, beach or hot tub present. Whether you are in a backyard, at a vacation rental, a hotel pool, waterpark or beach, it is important to never take your eyes off the kids. Children are drawn to water and accidental drownings can happen silently and in seconds.”

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1-4, and is the second most common cause of death for children ages 5-14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Amler said: “Always stay within arm’s reach of infants and toddlers in or near the water with your eyes on them. Pool floats, inner tubes, water wings and pool noodles can never substitute for adult supervision.”

Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said: “We strive to make our pools and beaches a fun and safe destination all summer with the help of our Red Cross award-winning lifeguard team. It is also important for parents to keep a watchful eye on their children while swimming and obey all safety signs.”

Westchester County Department of Public Safety Acting Commissioner Terrance Raynor said: “The Department of Public Safety assigns police officers and seasonal park rangers to our County’s parks each summer to ensure a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all. We will be working in partnership with the Parks Department to maintain safety at beaches and pools, and in all parks across the County.”

While enjoying the great outdoors, residents should stay hydrated and protect their skin from the effects of the summer sun. Seniors, young children, people who are overweight or who have high blood pressure, people who work outside or in other hot environments are most at risk for heat exhaustion or sunstroke. Signs of sunstroke include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion, as well as cool, moist, pale or flushed skin. Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should move out of the sun and apply cool, wet cloths to their skin.

Amler said: “Children can be so caught up with playing in the water that they forget to drink, so remind them to take frequent breaks to drink lots of water. Wear a hat and sunglasses, avoid the midday sun and to avoid sunburn, reapply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 every two hours, especially after you swim or sweat.”

For more information, go to http://health.westchestergov.com

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