LUZERNE COUNTY, EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) – Taking preventative measures around bodies of water can prevent tragedy from happening, even in your own backyard.
Hot, sunny days in northeastern and central Pennsylvania make for perfect conditions to take a dip in the water.
But before you cool off, Chief Joe Temarantz of the Hanover Township Fire Department encourages everyone to put water safety first.
“Before you bring your family over for that barbecue out there, take five minutes. Look around. Make sure everything is safe,” said Chief Temarantz.
The Chief says being prepared starts at home by securing the area around the backyard pool as soon as it’s opened for the season.
“Too many little children have gotten hurt because of the pool chemicals being left unattended or outside or exposed,” stated Temarantz.
In addition, swimmers of all ages should never be left in or near the water unattended.
“No alcoholic beverages while you’re out boating, you have a coast guard-approved life vest. Those types of things are important. Always swim with somebody, never by yourself, and never dive into unfamiliar water,” said Chief Temarantz.
According to the CDC, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day. Of those, two are children aged 14 or younger.
A startling statistic for parents like Katherine Ran, whose two-year-old daughter Kristina loves to swim. She says it’s made her extra vigilant.
“Always swim by her, don’t let her go too far from me. But I still keep enough space for her to explore the water,” stated Ran.
Both ran and Chief Temarantz encourage everyone to make learning water safety a priority. It can mean the difference between life and death.
“It’s up to you, the person, to make sure you do things safely,” said Chief Temarantz.