With the intense heat in northern New Jersey over the past few weeks, many Parsippany residents have taken to the water. After all, swimming is a good way to cool down, lots of fun and very good exercise, and with the Lake Hiawatha Swim Club , , the pool and in and near the township, there are plenty of options for practicing your crawl or backstroke.
However, every year fatal drownings and close calls traumatize families.
Last year 25 drowning incidents involving kids under 15 happened in the week of June 30 to July 6, according to USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport. In 2010 there were 24 such incidents.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that each year there are about 390 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15. Another 5,200 kids end up in emergency rooms, some with brain damage.
Such accidents are preventable, and the commission issued the following reminders:
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water
- Teach children basic water safety tips
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
Learning and Practicing Water Safety Skills
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
Having the Appropriate Equipment for Your Pool or Spa
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa
- If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm
- Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
- Have lifesaving equipment such as life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible.
Have a wet, fun and safe Independence Day and Summer of 2012.