Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

July 18, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


When you are out having fun at the pool, beach or lake with your family, water safety may not be the first thing on your mind. Yet, in New York State, drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children of all age groups. Children, ages one through four years old, are especially at risk. The good news is that parents and caregivers can help protect the children they love from drowning and near- drowning incidents.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert recommend you follow these tips from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • Learn life-saving skills. Everyone should know the basics of swimming. Check out programs in our community. You can contact your town's recreation department to see if they have swim and safety lessons or the Rockland County YMCA at (845) 358-0245 or and click on Aquatics. For information on learning CPR call the County Emergency Medical Services at (845) 364-8923.
  • Fence it off. Visit for important information about New York State pool safety requirements, and be sure to also check with your town and village.
  • Make life jackets a "must." Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too.
  • Be on the look-out. When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol.

Also, if you have a backyard pool remember to have a cordless or cell phone, emergency numbers, a first-aid kit, and rescue equipment near the pool. Place CPR instructions by the pool. Make sure that your children learn how to swim, but don't consider them "drown-proof" because they've had swimming lessons. There is no replacement for adult supervision.

"Whether it's the backyard or local community pool, a lake, or the beach, the danger of drowning is present whenever families spend time near the water. Take these important steps to help prevent drowning deaths, injuries and the often life-long disabilities from near-drowning," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information, call the Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program at (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290, and check the following websites: