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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 20, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Stay Safe When Enjoying the Water this Summer


(Trenton)  Whether you’re at the beach, pool or lake this summer, the Department of Health and Senior Services is advising residents to take safety precautions to be sure their time spent near water is accident free.


“Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of all unintentional deaths in children aged 1-14 years and the 7th leading cause of unintentional death for all ages,’’ according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd.   “While the Department encourages all water lovers to enjoy the world-class beaches and lakes that New Jersey is known for; we ask that everyone take a few simple safety measures to reduce the chances of a water related tragedy.”


General Water Safety Tips:

  • Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone
  • Only swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Never leave a child unattended near water
  • Children and inexperienced swimmers should always use a personal flotation device
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions; stop swimming at the first sign of inclement weather
  • Only enter water feet-first
  • Don’t mix alcohol and swimming
  • Make sure you are aware of the water environment you are in – including potential hazards such as shallow currents, depth changes and exit and entry points
  • Learn CPR


Ocean Safety:

  • Stay within designated swimming areas, with a lifeguard present
  • Make sure children always swim with a guardian
  • Check surf conditions before entering the water.  Look for a warning flag and other hazardous ocean conditions
  • Stay away from piers, pilings and diving platforms when swimming in the ocean
  • Be sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore
  • Don’t swim again a current, swim gradually out of the current by swimming across it


Lakes and Rivers:

  • Swim only in supervised areas
  • Be sure to swim in an area that is clean and well maintained
  • Ensure swimming area is free of murky water, underwater objects, unexpected drop-offs, and an abundance of aquatic plant life
  • Only walk into a lake or river, never dive
  • Never swim in drainage ditches or other areas where there is a potential for water runoff 



By the Pool

  • Keep a cell or cordless phone near a pool to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency
  • Post CPR instructions near the pool
  • Insist that caregivers and babysitters watching your child know CPR
  • Enclose pool with self-locking and self-closing fence with vertical bar openings no more than four inches wide
  • Keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool: Pole, rope and flotation device
  • Keep toys away from pool when it is not in use
  • Completely remove pool covers prior to use
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first


For more information on water safety, visit the CDC water safety webpage.

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