June 29, 2022
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New York State Division of Consumer Protection & New York State Parks Remind New Yorkers About the Importance of Water Safety
Summertime Brings Water Activities for Families
and Safety Remains a Priority
Secretary Robert Rodriguez Offers Tips for
Basic Water Safety to Help Prevent Water Accidents Video
The New York State
Division of Consumer Protection and the Office of Parks, Recreation and
Historic Preservation (State Parks) remind parents and guardians of the
importance of year-round water safety. As the hot weather sets in, many
families head to swimming pools, beaches and lakes, but it is imperative to pay
special attention to these safety tips to prevent accidents.
The Division of
Consumer Protection is encouraging parents to enroll their children in swimming
Even the most basic
swimming skills can help keep a child safe in the water. In addition, recent
data from the US
Swimming Foundation shows that children in some
communities continue to have no or disproportionally low swimming ability. Many
municipal pools and community centers offer free or low-cost swimming lessons,
and everyone is encouraged to learn how to swim.
vital in protecting millions of swimmers at New York State Park beaches and
pools each year. Governor Kathy Hochul announced a pay increase for State Park lifeguards, which is
helping address lifeguard shortages to protect New Yorkers enjoying summer by
the water, and to ensure the Parks remain open and safe.
"As the summer
heat arrives, the first thing that comes to mind for many families is to cool
off by the water, but we must be cautious for our children's safety,"
said New York State
Secretary of State, Robert J. Rodriguez, who oversees the New
York Division of Consumer Protection. "Vigilant adult supervision is critical
to safeguard children when they are near the water, and especially in unattended areas. Basic swimming lessons can save lives, and I urge all New
Yorkers to follow these recommendations to ensure summertime is safe and fun
Commissioner Erik Kulleseid
said, "New York State's pools and beaches offer great opportunities to cool off
during hot summer days. Our park staff and
lifeguards work hard to keep our visitors safe. Please follow the
direction of lifeguards and staff and to adhere to park regulations keep you,
your family and fellow park visitors safe as you swim in New York State parks."
"It's so important that
parents, guardians, those supervising, and everyone else be as attentive as
possible when young children are in or near the water," State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T.
Bassett said. "Never leave children unattended in or around
swimming pools, beaches, or any bodies of water, as it only takes a few seconds
for a child to drown or be seriously injured. This summer—with many children
behind on swim instruction because of the pandemic—we urge adults to pay close
attention to their children while swimming, and to ensure they receive
appropriate instruction if possible. Taking these swim safety precautions will
help your family stay safe this summer."
tips for ALL bodies of water:
- Adult Supervision. This
is the number one 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
- Choose bright colors. Studies show the color of one's bathing suit can make a
difference in visibility. Consider the color of your child's swimsuit
before heading to a pool, beach or lake. For light-bottomed pools, neon
pink and neon orange tend to be the most visible. For lakes and
dark-bottomed pools, neon orange, neon green and neon yellow tend to be
the most visible.
swimmers in need of help.
While we tend to think that swimmers in trouble will be
waving their hands and making lots of noise, this may not always be the
case. Watch out for people whose heads are low in the water (mouth
submerged) or tilted back with mouth open, eyes closed or unable to focus,
legs vertical in the water, or who are trying to swim but not making
Lessons. Multiple studies show
swimming lessons prevent drowning. Learn how to swim and teach your child
how to swim.
CPR. Every second counts and
CPR can help in an emergency.
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 that do not know how to swim. New York state law requires that
children under 12 wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest on a boat or water
vessel. For more information on proper life jackets, go to the United
States Coast Guard site.
a spot on the beach close to a lifeguard,
and swim only when a lifeguard is on duty.
for warning flags and know what they mean. Green
flags usually mark designated swimming areas – be sure to swim between the
green flags. Yellow flags may denote a surfing beach or an advisory. Red
flags indicate a danger or hazard, and no one should swim when they are
shown. Flag designations may vary so be sure to understand the color
coding before you dive in.
out for rip currents. Rip currents are powerful
currents moving away from shore. They tend to form near a shallow point in
the water, such as a sandbar, or close to jetties and piers and can happen
at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes! They are the
number one hazard for beachgoers and can pull even the strongest swimmers
out to sea. If you are caught in a rip current, try to remain calm and
don't fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the
current, and float or tread water if you begin to tire. More from the National Weather Service, Break the Grip of the Rip!
of large waves and strong surf. Ocean
swimming is different from swimming in a calm pool or lake. Large waves
can easily knock over an adult. Be prepared for strong surf as well as sudden
drop-offs near the shore.
Up Barriers. Install appropriate safety
barriers around in-home pools and spas. This includes fences, gates,
door alarms and covers.
Alarms. Install a pool alarm to
detect and provide notification of unattended pool access.
Pools. Drain and put away
smaller portable pools when not in use.
Drains. Keep children away from
pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid them getting stuck.
Children's hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain
or suction opening. 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. You may contact The Consumer Assistance Helpline at
1-800-697-1220 on Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State
Holidays. You may also file a consumer complaint any time at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
For more consumer
protection tips, follow the Division on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and