Oneida County urges water safety at pools, beaches

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As summer hits full swing, the Oneida County Health Department has issued a reminder urging residents and visitors alike to be vigiliant when it comes to water recreation, especially in and around pools and beaches.

• Parents need to be alert when around the water, the county health department said. Children should always be supervised when in and around the water and always use the buddy system (and never going in the water alone) when swimming. Safety equipment should be kept close by, be in good working order and be ready to use.  

• Lifeguards should always remain alert and attentive and know their area of coverage. Lifeguards should also avoid any distractions that can take their focus off of their zones, especially at times of shift changes. They should keep float lines attached at all times at the drop off.  

• Children can do their part by obeying the rules and avoided rough play and running, the Oneida County Health Department said. Diving should never be done in water less than eight-feet deep and is restricted at public pools and beaches

Drownings occur too often, approximately a third of drowning victims are those that have seizures, the health department warns. A person with a seizure does not struggle, and simply can slip under the water.

A drowning victim will struggle but not yell out for help due to lack of lung capacity, but may show arms out of water and bob up and down in their struggle.

When boating, always make sure that your vessel has enough Coast Guard approved life jackets for all occupants onboard. New York law requires that all children. under 12 years of age wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III personal floation device while on board any vessel less than 65 feet in length unless they are in a fully enclosed cabin.  

Recreational water illnesses also can be prevented if people do their part and don’t swim if they have a gastrointestinal illness and not until instructed by your doctor. People carry millions of bacteria good and bad on our bodies, so please make sure you take a shower before entering a pool.  

For more information about how to stay safe in the water this summer, go online to: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html; http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi.html.

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