PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 21, 2015

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd and Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake Offer Tips for a Safe Summer Season

As the unofficial start of summer approaches, the New Jersey Departments of Health (DOH) and Children and Families (DCF) are reminding residents and their families to take precautions to be safe in the water and protect against the sun's ultraviolet rays-especially in infants and children.

"Enjoy the sun and the water this summer at New Jersey's beaches, lakes and other outdoor recreational areas, but use common sense and protect yourself by wearing sunscreen, a wide-brim hat and sunglasses," said Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Drink plenty of water, swim only in protected areas and follow safety rules in pools, lakes and the ocean."

Commissioner O'Dowd stressed that residents should never leave anyone-especially children, people with developmental disabilities, the elderly or pets-in vehicles with the windows closed as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.

Children should be supervised in water at all times. "It's best for everyone to swim in only designated areas when a lifeguard is present," the Commissioner said.

"Summer time is a special time of year when families often create some of the fondest memories, but it's also imperative that parents and caregivers take simple, but necessary steps, to keep infants and children safe all season long," added New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake.

Below are tips those for staying safe at the beach, lakes, rivers and other outdoor recreation areas this summer:

Sun Safety/Excessive Heat:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • When possible, reduce strenuous outdoor activity when temperatures are high
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing
  • If you do not have air conditioning in your home, take advantage of any air-conditioned public places such as libraries, movies, malls and bowling alleys
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbors during periods of high temperatures to see if they need help

DCF's "Not Even for a Minute" campaign outlines tips for parents to help keep kids safe around cars, including:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a car, not even for a minute
  • Always lock your car and secure the keys so that your kids can't get to them
  • Warn your children about playing in and around cars
  • Install a trunk release mechanism so that kids can't get trapped inside the trunk
  • Get your kids out of the car first, and then worry about unloading the groceries and items out of the car

Water Safety

DCF's "Not Even for a Second" campaign stresses the following water safety tips for parents:

  • Always have an ADULT supervising young swimmers
  • Never leave a child alone around water
  • Very young children can drown in just one inch of water
  • Flotation devices or inflatable toys are not substitutes for supervision
  • Teach children to swim at an early age
  • Obey all posted or verbal rules, warning signs and other safety signs.
  • Don't mix alcohol and supervision of children
  • Always drain and store plastic or blow-up wading pools in an upright position. Enclose pools completely with a self-locking, self-closing fence, and do not leave furniture around that children can use to climb over the fence
  • You can contact the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for more information regarding pool construction and residential codes: www.nj.gov/dca.
  • Be sure to remove pool covers completely to reduce the risk of children getting caught underneath.

For more information on water safety, visit the CDC water safety webpage.  http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/

For more information on skin cancer, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/health/ccp/melanoma.shtml.

For more information on heat-related illness please visit: http://nj.gov/health/eoh/hhazweb/cool.htm.

For more information on water, car, and summer safety tips please visit http://nj.gov/dcf/families/safety/summer/


Last Reviewed: 5/21/2015