Safe For The Season

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County Executive Curran reminds residents to take caution during the summer

Last Thursday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, along with Commissioner of Health Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein and Far Rockaway pediatrician Dr. Hylton Lightman, visited Wantagh Park’s pool to remind county residents of important safety tips to utilize in making their summer vacation a memorable—and safe—one.

Cantiague Park, Hicksville’s premier recreational space complete with ice skating, swimming, playgrounds and golf, is just one of the many Nassau County parks Curran mentioned in her safety address to Nassau County residents.

“We’ve got a lot of opportunities to swim and soak in the sun,” Curran said. “We know that drowning is the number-one cause of accidental death, nationally, among young children ages 1 to 4. We also know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. So we’re taking action and we’re launching a summer-long multi-media awareness campaign starting today, utilizing social media, regular media and dozens of public service announcements as well.”

Playgrounds, like this one at Cantiague Park in Hicksville, can heat up to high temperatures in the sun. Use caution when allowing children to play.

This new county-wide campaign, titled Child Safe Summer, comes with the intention of raising awareness for keeping children safe across the island. Nassau County launched the web page www.NassauCountyNY.gov/ChildSafeSummer to provide residents with tips, advice, alerts and anything else they may need to know to keep their youngsters safe this summer.

“It will be a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about summer health,” Curran explained. “We want to urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe summer. Most accidents are avoidable. We can help our families avoid the potential dangers of drowning, of keeping your kids and pets in the car, of getting skin cancer and teaching our kids how to stay safe while still enjoying their summer vacation.”

Especially emphasized was the importance of using sunblock. On site to discuss the matter was Wantagh Park’s lieutenant of lifeguards Ryan Reyes, who stated that if you are spending any amount of time in the sun, the proper amount of sunscreen—a shot glass worth—should be applied every two hours. He also reminded residents to wear hats when possible and apply sunblock to the scalp, as sun rays can penetrate through hair.

“Use sunblock and use it correctly,” stated Curran. “It’s vital to protect yourself and your children from sun exposure, even on cloudy days.”

The county executive also urged parents to keep their phones away while on the pool deck, as tragedy can occur in an instant.

“One other thing that seems just like common sense, if you are going to the pool with your child, please put your phone away,” she said. “Things can happen in a split second. If you’re distracted, you don’t want to take that chance. Put the phone away and keep it away until you’re away from the pool and you’re child is away from the pool.”

She also encouraged bike riders to wear their helmets and for shoppers to never, under any circumstances, leave a pet or a child in a car.

“Even for a quick errand, even if you’re just going for 10 seconds to buy a can of beans, even If you think it’s not that warm, even if you’ve left the window open,” she stated.

Backing up those sentiments were Eisenstein and Lightman. There are plenty of opportunities to be distracted, reiterated Eisenstein, so it is vital to maintain constant supervision when out and about with children.

“The important thing to realie, it doesn’t have to be boiling hot outside, that even a temperature outside of 59 degrees can cause severe detrimental harm to the child,” said Lightman, who offered the idea of placing an important object, like a cell phone or a wallet, in the backseat of your vehicle so you don’t accidentally leave behind a child—a tragic story that repeats itself on the news each summer.

Finally, Curran sternly warned against drinking and driving. With the warm weather comes ample opportunity to attend parties, barbecues and more, but getting behind the wheel after drinking at such an event is “completely unacceptable,” Curran said.

“We wants our kids to get off the TV, off the Xbox, put down the tablet, put down the cell phone, get outside and play,” Curran shared. “But do it safely.”

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Allison Eichler the editor of Hicksville News and Farmingdale Observer.

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