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Consumer alert: Division of Consumer Protection reminds parents & guardians to make water safety a priority for children


Wed, Jun 30th 2021 02:55 pm

Summertime brings water activities; children’s safety must be a priority

√ Child drownings remain leading cause of unintentional death in children 1-4 years old

√ DCP offers water safety tips to help prevent drownings

Submitted by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection reminded parents and guardians to make water safety a priority for young children as summertime water activities begin.

A new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report revealed child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years old. The report also indicated that, from 2018-20, 78% of all nonfatal drowning injuries occurred among children younger than 5 years old.

There are basic safety tips New Yorkers can take to help prevent drowning in children.

“As families enjoy water activities, it is imperative to pay close attention to the safety of our children,” New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said. “The New York Division of Consumer Protection is providing safety tips so parents and guardians can best safeguard children when they are near the water. This knowledge saves lives, and I urge all New Yorkers to follow these basic tips to ensure this summertime is safe and fun for all.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "In a matter of minutes, children can succumb to the dangers of drowning if left unsupervised or without the proper training necessary to become strong swimmers. I urge all New Yorkers to enjoy the water responsibly this summer and to remember to put the safety of our youngest swimmers first to ensure a happy recreational season for all."

DCP offered safety tips to help prevent drownings:

•Adult supervision. This is the No. 1 way to prevent drowning. Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate a water watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone, drinking alcoholic beverages, or otherwise distracted.

•Swim lessons. Multiple studies show swim lessons prevent drowning. Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.

•Life jackets. Put life jackets on kids anytime they are on a boat or participating in other open water recreational activities. Personal flotation devices should always be used for children who do not know how to swim. New York state law requires children under 12 wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest on a boat or water vessel. For more information on proper life jackets, go to the Coast Guard site at: https://uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/life-jacket-wear-wearing-your-life-jacket.php

•Learn CPR. Every second counts and CPR can help in an emergency.

•Put up barriers. Install appropriate safety barriers around in-home pools and spas. This includes fences, gates, door alarms and covers.

•Pool alarms. Install a pool alarm to detect and provide notification of unattended pool access.

•Small pools. Drain and put away smaller portable pools when not in use.

•Cover drains. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid them getting stuck. Also, ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, which include drain shape, drain cover size, and rate of water flow. Learn more here.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the state’s consumers, who can file a complaint at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection

For more consumer protection information, call the DCP helpline at 800-697-1220 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or visit the DCP website at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection. The DCP can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

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