Officials give pool safety tips as more people stay home this summer
With more families staying home in the pandemic, officials are warning about an increased risk of backyard pool drownings.
Keri Morrison's son Jake drowned in November of 2013 while celebrating Thanksgiving weekend with his family in Florida.
She says the 2-year-old slipped out the back door in the dark and fell, fully clothed into the Intracoastal Waterway. The pink stroller he liked to push on the dock was also found.
"There really, truly is no greater pain than losing a child, but what I tell people is when you lose a child to something preventable like drowning, it hurts even more," said Morrison.
Jake's death led his family to start the Live Like Jake Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes childhood drowning awareness, water safety and gives scholarships to families for swim lessons. One of the techniques they encourage is ISR, or Infant Swim Resource Self-Rescue.
At a class in Port Jefferson Station, ISR instructors say they can start teaching children as young as 6 months to roll on their back, float, rest and breathe.
"The idea being that God forbid a child finds their way into the water alone, they know how to find air, because it happens in seconds for a child to find water," said Melissa Larsen, ISR instructor.
Instructors say they pay close attention to what they say are the five layers of drowning prevention: supervision, locks and alarms, self-rescue survival skills, knowing CPR and having a gate surrounding your pool.
The swim instructors also say to dress your children in bright colors when at the beach or the pool so they don't blend into the environment.
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