Weekly Feature

2018-06-13 / Editorial

Be responsible when in the sun, at area pools

Bee Editorial

As we move toward June 21 as the first day of summer, we should take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while the warm weather lasts. However, it’s important to also take the proper precautions against some of the dangers posed by the season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants, children up to 4 years of age, and people who are 65 and older are at the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses.

Infants and children should be dressed in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and outdoor activities should be scheduled for the morning or evening hours.

Residents should also take care to wear sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and also can prevent skin cancer that could develop later in life. Adults who are exercising outside or working around the yard should make sure to keep hydrated and take frequent breaks in shady or cool areas.

Avoid drinking alcohol or beverages with a high amount of sugar because they cause dehydration, according to the CDC.

With a rise in temperatures comes a rise in visits to the public pools or the beach. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death among children ages 1 to 4, excluding birth defects, according to the CDC.

The CDC states that more than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care, compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6 percent for all unintentional injuries. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning. Parents should always supervise their children when they are in or around water. Taking part in in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children ages 1 to 4. A CDC study about self-reported swimming ability found that younger adults reported greater swimming ability than older adults.

Parents should also teach their children how to swim by having them take formal swimming classes. Adults should also plan for emergencies by learning CPR.

If you have a pool at home, make sure it complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws. In many cases, a pool must be surrounded by a fence and have gates that are self-closing and self-latching. Pool alarms may also be required.

For more information about the Town of Tonawanda pools, visit www.tonawanda.ny.us.

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