Commissioners issue warnings on pool safety

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In light of five recent swimming pool incidents in Gloucester County, its board of commissioners is urging all residents to prioritize swimming pool safety, especially for children.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent incidents which resulted in the loss of four young lives and the hospitalization of another child following resuscitation,” Commissioner Director Frank J. DiMarco said. “As outdoor activities and pool gatherings increase during the warmer months, the risk of accidental drowning and other pool-related incidents also rises.

“It is imperative that pool owners, parents, and everyone using swimming pools and hot tubs take preventive measures to ensure a fun and safe summer for everyone.”

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in children, with the highest risk during the summer months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 4, the second leading cause for children 5 to 14.

“The recent incidents in Gloucester County underscore these statistics and highlight the urgent need for vigilance and safety precautions around swimming pools,” said Commissioner Denice DiCarlo, who serves as public safety liaison. “There are proactive steps that we can all take to help prevent avoidable tragedies.”

Following are pool safety tips:

Constant supervision: Always supervise children when they are in or near the water. Designate a responsible adult to watch the children at all times.

Learn to swim: Ensure that children and adults learn how to swim. Swimming lessons can significantly reduce the risk of drowning.

Install barriers: Use fences, alarms, and covers to secure a pool area. A four-sided isolation fence that separates a pool from the house and yard reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%.

Teach water safety: Educate children about the dangers of running around the pool, diving in shallow water and swimming without supervision.

CPR training: Learn CPR and ensure that babysitters, grandparents, and anyone else who cares for your child know CPR as well.

Use life jackets: Ensure that inexperienced swimmers and young children wear life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Establish pool rules: Create and enforce a set of rules for pool use, such as no running, no diving in shallow water and no swimming alone.

“Pool safety is not just a personal responsibility – it is a community effort,” DiMarco noted. “We must work together to spread awareness and implement safety measures to prevent injury and loss of life due to drowning.”

The Red Cross offers extensive swimming pool safety information and resources, including a free water-safety app.

To learn more, Gloucester County residents are encouraged to visit

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