As summer begins, a new push to prevent drownings in NJ
🏊♀️ Congressman unveils his safe swimming strategy plan
🏊♀️ At least 50 people from NJ drowned last year
🏊♀️ Drowning is the leading cause of death for young kids
As the summer season begins, a New Jersey congressman has unveiled a Safe Swimming Strategy that includes federal legislation to help prevent drownings.
During a visit to a public swimming pool in Ridgewood on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, said his bipartisan Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act will bolster safety standards for public swimming pools and help to promote awareness to prevent pool injuries and deaths.
“Every year in the United States there are an estimated 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, last year alone at least 50 people died in New Jersey after drowning in swimming pools or natural water.”
Watch your kids
Gottheimer said it’s important for all kids to learn how to swim, and even if a lifeguard is present ‘it’s critical that children are supervised in or around water by an adult, please watch them.”
“We’ve all read far too many stories about babies or toddlers who accidentally wander off and fall into a pool and drown, it’s so heartbreaking, but it’s also so preventable," he said.
According to the CDC drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14.
Actions to take if you are caught in a rip current
Teaching kids to swim
The Virginia Graeme Baker Reauthorization Act, which is named after former Secretary of State James Baker’s 7-year-old granddaughter who drowned in 2002, will provide federal investments for swim lessons nationwide and includes a grant program that incentivizes states and municipalities to have pool and spa safety laws and requirements on the books.
It also calls for all public and hotel pools to have proper safety drain covers and shut-off valves designed to prevent children from being trapped underwater by the powerful suction of pool filter systems.