Within one month, authorities have reported 10 drowning deaths alone in New Jersey.
- July 17: A 2-year-old drowned in a home swimming pool in Galloway
- July 17: A 12-year-old drowned at the Sandy Hook beach
- July 10: A 4-year-old died after being pulled from a lake in Ocean View
- July 9: A 6-year-old drowned in a hotel pool in Wildwood
- June 22: A 17-year-old died after being pulled from a lake in Hamilton
- June 19: A 12-year-old died after drowning at the beach in Belmar, three days after her cousin had also drowned
- June 17: An 11-year-old girl died after she had touched a rail on a metal boat lift that had become energized in Toms River.
- June 16: A 13-year-old girl died after drowning at the beach in Belmar
- June 16: The bodies of a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old were found after they had drowned on the beach in Atlantic City
The New Jersey State Police reminds everyone to take proper safety measures when having fun around water this summer. With the recent heat wave, many have been heading to pools, beaches and lakes, so they urge everyone to take proper steps to ensure safety in and around the water.
According to The World Health Organization, drowning is among the leading causes of unintentional death in children aged 1 and 14 in the United States. Many tragedies can be avoided if proper safety precautions are taken.
Pools that are properly safeguarded can help prevent both adults and children from accidentally falling in. Here are a few recommendations for securing your home pool:
- Surround the pool with a fence that is at least 4 feet tall
- Be sure the fence has a self-closing and self-latching gate with a lock
- In-ground pools should be completely fenced in
- Install a rigid safety cover for your in-ground pool
- Maintain supervision of kids whenever around the water, even if lifeguards are present.
- Remember to also have the appropriate rescue equipment, life jackets and a first aid kit available in case of an emergency.
Follow these safety tips whenever you are in, on or around water.
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket. Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
For a complete list of water safety tips visit the American Red Cross water safety site at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.