July 4, 2007
Media Release

Join us for a safe day at the beach

NEWMARKET – During the hot summer months, beaches provide a fun way to cool off and spend time with family and friends.  York Region Health Services invites residents and members of the media to come to De La Salle Beach on Lake Simcoe for a free interactive event. Learn about beach water quality, how beach water is collected and tested, what the new beach posting signs mean, how to protect from injury/drowning, sun safety and outdoor air quality.

WHEN: Friday, July 6, 2007
Public Event: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Media Event: 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: De La Salle Beach (on Lake Drive East, just west of Brule Lakeway)
  Town of Georgina
• Participate in activities demonstrating how bacteria affects beach water
• View a beach sampling demonstration by York Region Health Services staff
• Build a sand structure related to sun safety
• Participate in two children’s treasure hunts (11:00 a.m and 1:00 p.m)

York Region Health Services offers the following hot weather, beach safety tips:
• Keep our beach water clean. Residents are asked to pick up garbage and pet waste, avoid feeding birds at the beach and avoid going into the water if they have an infection or wound
• Use Sunsense. Reduce sun exposure between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher, applied according to directions)
• Warm summer weather also increases the likelihood of poor air quality. During a smog alert, avoid strenuous exercise, limit outdoor activities and drink plenty of fluids
• Swimming is a life skill that everyone needs to learn. Drowning is the second most common cause of unintentional death in Canada after traffic accidents. Children under the age of five years are most at risk and must be closely supervised near water
• If you smoke, dispose of cigarette butts in ashtrays or butt bins, not on the street or the beach. Cigarette filters are not bio-degradable and can take 10 to15 years to decompose, and the tar and chemicals that they absorb (such as cadmium, lead and arsenic) can leach into beach water
York Region Health Services monitors water quality at York Region’s public bathing beaches during the summer months to ensure that water quality is safe for swimming. If bacterial counts exceed provincial guidelines (100 E.coli per 100ml of water). Health Services will post a sign at the beach advising the public that the water is unsafe for swimming. If there are indications of hazardous or infectious materials present in the water, or in the event of blue-green algae bloom, the beach will be closed. When the water is safe once again for swimming, the beach posting or closure will be removed.
For more information on this or any other health-related topic, or find out if your favourite beach is safe for swimming, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
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Media Contact Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell 905 716-2717
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

Media Event  11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 The media is invited to attend a photo and interview opportunity highlighting beach safety with representatives from the following York Region Health Services teams:
Safe Water Team
Chronic Disease Prevention Team
Injury Prevention Team
York YEL!T (Youth Exposing Lies In Tobacco) Youth Action Alliance Team

Contact Information
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