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McKnight & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Raise Awareness for Dry Drowning Passes Assembly Committee

Looking to provide the public with critical information that could save the lives of young swimmers, Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored legislation that calls for the creation of informative tools to educate parents and caregivers of young children about the dangers of dry drowning.

Dry drowning occurs when someone inhales water but does not immediately display signs of drowning. Instead, the water they inhaled can cause muscle spasms that block their airway even after exiting the water. This can be fatal, and it is estimated that dry drowning occurs in one to five percent of all drowning or near drowning incidents.

The bill (A-2477) would task the Commissioner of Community Affairs and the Commissioner of Health to design, produce and distribute a poster and one-page pamphlet detailing the dangers and symptoms of dry drowning. Every municipality with a public pool would be required to place the poster in a prominent area and provide municipal residents with a copy of the one-page information sheet annually either when the pool opens for the season or when a resident registers as a member of the pool.

Upon the legislation advancing, Assembly sponsors McKnight (D-Hudson) and Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) issued the following joint statement:

 “Too many parents and caregivers of young children are unaware of the dangers of dry drowning. While rare, dry drowning can be fatal without proper medical attention. That is why we need to do our part to raise awareness and inform the public of the symptoms of a dry drowning event. Knowing what warning signs to look for can save lives and prevent a fun summer day at the pool from turning into a tragedy.”

The bill now heads to the Speaker for further consideration.