Tips for National Water Safety Month

Water Safety Community Day May 30

In recognition of National Water Safety Month, the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County would like to share some important tips in order to exercise caution and good safety.

According to the CDC, every day two children less than 14 years old die from drowning, and it is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children 1 to 4 years old.

Drowning can happen in pools or open water, such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and even man-made structures like a reservoir or canal. Without lifeguards, lakes and rivers are particularly hazardous, even for experienced swimmers. Drowning can happen very quickly. Never leave a child unattended even for a moment, and avoid all distractions, such as reading or talking on the phone.

Open water swimming tips

Know the water. Do not go into open water without knowing the possible dangers specific to the site’s water and weather conditions.

Know your limits. Drowning often happens when a person gets too tired. Learn to swim, float and tread water, but don’t overestimate your abilities.

Use the buddy system. Never swim alone.

Swim only where lifeguards are present.

Pool swimming tips

Proper barriers and alarms. If you have a backyard pool, fencing must be installed on all sides with self-closing, self-locking gates that open outward. The fence should be at least 4 feet tall, and pools should have weight-bearing pool covers. Remove ladders from aboveground pools. The complete NYS Building Code requirements are available online.

Do not use the pool if drain covers are missing. Long hair, arms, legs and fingers can get stuck in the drain’s current and pull a person under water.

Remove pool toys when you are done swimming. If left in the water, toys can attract younger children who may reach for them and fall in.

Wings Over Water, located on Route 22 in Brewster, is offering a Water Safety Community Day on Saturday, May 30, at 2:30 p.m. for children age 6 and up with parents. To register, stop by or call 845-279-9525. Visit for more information.

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