Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey would like to
remind county residents that water safety is something that all
parents should be aware of. Drowning is the second leading cause of
unintentional injury related death among children ages 1 - 14. It can
happen very quickly and in less than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of
water, so filled bathtubs, swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs, and
even buckets of water and sinks can be dangerous.
To reduce your child's risk of drowning:
* Never leave a small child unattended in the bath. If you must
answer the telephone or door, don't rely on an older sibling to watch
the child, bring him or her with you.
* Never leave a small child unattended near a bucket filled with any
amount of water or other liquid.
* Never use a bathtub seat with suction cups. The seat can overturn
and flip a baby headfirst into the water.
* Install a toilet-lid locking device or keep bathroom doors closed at
all times. (Or you may want to install a doorknob cover.)
* Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a
moment. An adult who knows CPR should actively supervise children at
* Practice touch supervision with children younger than 5 years. This
means that the adult is within an arm's length of the child at all
* If you are planning a pool party, consider hiring a certified
lifeguard to supervise those who will be in the pool.
* Put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young
children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the
pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around the pool. This fence
will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the
yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher
than your children's reach.
* Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver)
and a telephone by the pool.
* Do not use air-filled "swimming aids" as a substitute for approved
* Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren't tempted
to reach for them.
* After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can't
get back into it.
* A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) may add to the protection of
your children but should not be used in place of the fence between
your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a
power safety cover will not prevent all drowning.
Remember, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child
is safe in water.
NASSAU COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
1490 Franklin Ave., Mineola, NY 11501