Legislation (S.7129) co-sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., to create the temporary “Commission to Prevent Childhood Drowning” and improve water safety, passed the NYS Senate.
“One drowning death is one too many, particularly when research shows swimming lessons help to significantly reduce the likelihood of drowning,” said Addabbo, co-sponsor of S.7129 which passed the Senate today. “This legislation would increase access to swim training programs to help alleviate unnecessary tragedies due to drowning in our communities, especially in areas where water is most accessible, such as our popular Rockaway beaches.”
Approximately one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
“Living in Queens, we are all familiar with how dangerous water, whether it is the beach or swimming pools, can be especially if one isn’t taught basic swim safety skills,” Addabbo said. “As we approach the summer season, making instruction accessible to all residents needs to be a priority so that individuals and families can safely cool off while enjoying much-needed time outdoors."
After passing both houses of the Legislature, the next stop for the bill is Governor Cuomo’s desk for final consideration.