WOODBURY - The arrival of June means it's swimming season, and it's a good idea for families who have pools to review safety measures and drowning prevention tips.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under 5, experts say.
Doug Rhinehardt, of Gibbons Pools, says he recommends 5-foot fencing, self-latching gates and alarms on back doors, which are especially handy for families with small children.
Choosing the right pool cover is also important for safety. Rhinehardt says he recommends a certain cover that can be safely walked upon.
In spite of all the prevention measures, experts say nothing averts backyard tragedies better than adult supervision.
"An adult can’t be texting, can't be talking on the phone, working on the computer, reading, or doing anything else but keeping constant eyes on their children," says Dr. Ronald Gorden, of the Long Island Drowning Prevention Task Force.
The task force holds water safety programs in local schools and distributes pamphlets with safety tips. The pamphlet suggests designating a "water watcher" and says children and caregivers should be taught how to swim. The pamphlet also says that if a child is missing, adults should always check the pool first.