Law would increase swimming pool safety

A law passed two years ago to increase pool safety has finally been implemented, but it comes too late to save three drowning victims — two children, ages two and eight, and a 48-year-old nanny.
Justine Almonte, 8, who reportedly suffered a seizure as he swam in an inground pool during a backyard barbecue in Queensboro Hill on Friday, July 4, was the stepson of an NYPD officer.
Just two days earlier, Jennasia Dominick, 2, drowned in her family’s Long Island pool as her mother prepared lunch and her father reportedly slept.
And on Thursday, July 3, nanny Ana Maria Montano de Gimenez, 48, in a selfless act, jumped into the pool where her three-year-old charge was struggling and died. The boy survived.
The new law amends the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code to require pool alarms, approved by the Secretary of State, to be installed in all residential or commercial swimming pools constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006.
“Local laws often require barriers for residential pools, but technological advances have produced several different types of pool alarms designed to sound a warning if a child falls into the water. When used in conjunction with access barriers, these alarms provide greater protection against accidental drowning, and increase overall pool safety,” said Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer, Chair, Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. “Unfortunately, with the recent reported drowning in pools, the need for and implementation of this law has become more urgent.”
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in children between the ages of one and 14 nationwide, and the third leading cause of injury-related deaths of children in New York. NCIPC data also shows that 26 infants and children under 14 drowned in New York State in 2002 alone.
Information regarding the type of alarms required, as well as other important tips on pool safety, can be found on the
Department of State’s web site, https://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/pools.htm.

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