Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
Christine Hendriks,
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104       

Date:           July 13, 2011 

West Islip, NY – Drowning is the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries among children ages 1 through 14.  It can happen very quickly and in less than one inch of water, so filled bathtubs, swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs, buckets of water and even sinks can be dangerous.  With summer under way, practicing pool safety is of the greatest importance.

“A child’s enchantment with a swimming pool on a hot day is undeniable.  Adults should be aware of the dangers that pools present for children.  Teach your children to swim at a young age and take classes in CPR.  Always have a phone nearby and don’t be distracted,” stated Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center’s Director for the Center for Pediatric Specialty Care Barry Goldberg, MD. 

Never leave a child alone in or near a pool, even for a moment.  Children should be actively supervised by an adult who knows CPR at all times.  Practice “touch supervision” with children younger than five years old; this means the adult is within an arm’s length of the child at all times.  If planning a pool party, consider hiring a certified lifeguard to supervise.  It is required by law that you separate a pool from your house with a fence at least four feet high.  Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than a child’s reach.  Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool.
Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.  The use of air-filled “swimming aids” as a substitute for approved life vests is not recommended.  Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them.   Remember to always secure a pool when not in use so children can’t get back into it.

Teaching children how to swim does not mean they are safe in the water.  There is no substitute for adult supervision and respect for the water.
“Remember that it only takes a split second of inattentiveness to change a child’s life forever,” stated Dr. Goldberg.

For information on Good Samaritan Hospital’s pediatric services, please call (631) 376-4444 or visit



Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip.  The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had nearly 30,000 patient admissions and more than 95,000 emergency department visits in 2010.  Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at

Good Samaritan provides more than $49 million in community service and charity care each year.  The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health.  This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.