In the wake of two recent pool drownings, with one right here on Long Island just recently, Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito is reminding residents of the importance of pool safety so this summer can be a safe summer. Councilman D’Esposito, a first responder, outlined preventative measures, including a cpr demonstration, at a pool safety press conference as part of his campaign to promote life-saving measures. Standing poolside at Malibu Shore Club in Pt. Lookout with Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Malibu Shore Club owner Butch Yamali, and expertly trained lifeguards, D’Esposito encouraged pool owners to be more diligent than ever in safeguarding their backyard pools.
“As a former New York City Police Officer and former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, I have responded to one too many pool-related accidents throughout the New York area,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “It takes just a split second for an accident to happen and a tragedy to occur, but by following simple precautions we can ensure the sound of laughter and fun and not distress from homeowners’ pools.”
According to the US. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a national average of nearly 400 accidental fatal drownings of children 15 and under a year, with nearly 75 percent of those children younger than 5. There are also thousands of pool-related injuries to children each year.
“Summer is time for family-fun, especially for residents with backyard pools,” added Councilwoman King Sweeney. “But with that fun, comes responsibility and simple steps to safeguard our most precious town residents.”
In 2008, the Town Board passed a comprehensive law that requires a pool alarm for all swimming pools installed or maintained in unicorporated areas of the town. The alarm must be capable of detecting a child entering the water, and an 85-plus decibel warning must sound within 20-seconds both poolside and at another location on the premises.
“Watchful eyes are the best precaution, but an effective alarm is the next best thing to having your very own lifeguard poolside,” commented Councilman Dennis Dunne.
D’Esposito urged pool owners to ensure that their pools are protected by physical barriers as town code requires, including a minimum five-foot, non climable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate (equipped with lock). Further precautions include the availability of personal flotation evices, life rings and a shepherd’s hook, as well as keeping a phone with emergency numbers poolside. D’Esposito also noted that teaching children to swim at an early age is a critical, preventative measure and each summer, the Town of Hempstead teaches thousands of kids to swim at various town pools.
In addition, D’Esposito encouraged parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn CPR and noted the CPR is first line of defense in the event of a drowning. “We live on an island, surrounded by water, with many residents having pools in their backyards,” added D’Esposito. “Just as it is a good idea to be trained in Narcan administration just in case you are ever in a position to save the life of an overdose victim, it is just as important to be trained in CPR.” For information on CPR classes in your local community, please contact the American Red Cross on Long Island at (516) 747-3500, visit www.redcross.org or contact your local fire department.
“While our first goal is always to prevent a tragedy, it is critical that we are prepared for the worst,” concluded D’Esposito. “We are committed to the well-being of all our residents and for an enjoyable summer filled with fun and laughter in the pool, and we urge you to take the necessary precautions to be safe this summer.”