Even with our cool summer, kids will want to head to the beach for some water fun.
Marta Koelling is a Community Health Specialist at the Oneida County Health Department.
She says freelance swimming is less safe than being in a designated swim area....
".....number one rule: make sure you're not diving or swimming in unfamiliar water. That can lead to come potential dangers there. Making sure you're swimming with a buddy, especially with children and inexperienced swimmers, making sure they are supervised at all times...."
Which leads Koelling to her next point: parents need to have someone watching the kids all the time...
".....one of the resources the Drowning Prevention Task Force of Oneida County provides, we have something called the 'water watcher tag'. We encourage parents to bring(the tag) to the beach, bring to the pool, wherever they are going to be swimming....making sure someone is always physically wearing or holding that tag and that designates them as the water watcher...."
She says parents often think someone is watching the kids when, in fact, no one is. She says contrary to common belief, people in distress don't make much noise and can drown quickly and quietly. Boaters should always make sure to have life jackets handy if not being worn. She says at three locations in Oneida county they have life jacket donor stations, where you can take one and use while out on the water.
As a final safety tip, Koelling says remember that alcohol and swimming don't mix.