Officials Aim To Prevent Pool Accidents In Levittown

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Levittown residents enjoy a day at the Jerusalem Avenue pool.

As the sun beams down and the temperature rises, who doesn’t want to relax in the pool and cool off?

Recently, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran visited Wantagh Park’s pool, reminding residents of important safety tips to utilize in making their summer vacation a memorable and safe one.

Levittown features nine pools, including the Acorn, Carman, Slate, Azalea, Jerusalem, West Bluegrass, Parkway and Wolcott facilities.

A new county-wide campaign, called Child Safe Summer, intends to raise awareness to keep children safe across the island. Nassau County launched the web page www.NassauCountyNY.gov/ChildSafeSummer to provide residents with tips, advice, alerts and other information they need to know in order to keep their youngsters safe this summer.

Jerusalem Avenue pool is one of nine pools in Levittown. (Photos by Joseph Wolkin)

“All of our pool operators are certified,” Town of Hempstead Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Daniel Lino said in an interview with the Tribune. “Our lifeguards are Nassau County and Red Cross certified. We make sure all of our patrons are safe and secure, and we want them to have a safe experience in the Levittown pools.”

The Levittown pools have anywhere from six to 10 lifeguards on-duty at all times. Not only are they certified by the county and the Red Cross, but all lifeguards must have training to administer Narcan injections.

While there are plenty of people watching swimmers at the area’s pools, county officials are warning people to be careful at home.

“I always fear that no matter what we do, I’ll hear the ‘should’ve, could’ve and would’ve,’” Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr., who represents the Sixth District, said. “Those are so sad. Be prepared. Be an adult.”

Dunne and Lino both stressed the need to be responsible around family pools. Lino compares it to having a designated driver when going out with friends.

“I strongly suggest people buy a monitor that—if there’s a splash in the water—an alarm goes off,” Lino said. “Also, I urge everyone that if they’re having a party and there’s a pool, make sure there are a couple of sober people, just like a designated driver. There should be a designated pool watcher. If there’s an accident, there’s someone who’s sober and can attend to the situation in the pool at all times.”

The Town of Hempstead has about 560 lifeguards on staff throughout the summer. But that doesn’t mean parents should take their eyes off children while in the pool.

In Levittown, lifeguards have 15-minute rotations, switching positions with one-another by the pool so they can observe as much as possible. They are not allowed to listen to music or use their cell phones while working.

“What they do is if there’s a problem, they have one whistle if there’s a problem, two if there’s a rescue and three if we need help,” Dunne said. “They have a special code for the whistles if things happen in the pool.”

Lino said there haven’t been any casualties at a pool in Levittown in several years. However, there have been some injuries, none of which were life-threatening.

Additionally, water safety is just as important. The county requires pools to have chemical readings three times a day, but staff observe the Levittown pools once per hour.
The county’s new website is meant to emphasize all potential ways to save a life and keep people safe.

“It will be a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about summer health,” Curran said. “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.”

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