It’s the season for sun, fun, ice cream and … trauma.
That’s the warning given by doctors at a news conference at Nassau University Medical Center ahead of the July Fourth holiday.
The so-called “trauma season” brings heat-related cases to emergency rooms and activities like boating and swimming, which bring their own hazards.
Here are some common hazards of the summer season and expert advice on how to avoid them:
☔Avoiding the dangers of flash flooding
On average, more people are killed by flooding than any other single severe weather event, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most deaths occur at night and when people are trapped in vehicles. NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency offer these tips for staying safe:
- Do not drive onto a flooded roadway. The water depth may not be obvious or the roadway may no longer be intact under the water. Take caution driving on wet roads, too. You can easily hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. Do not drive at all if not necessary. One foot of moving water can sweep a vehicle away.
- If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay inside. If water rises inside the vehicle, climb to the roof.
- Do not walk, swim or play in flood water. Swiftly moving water can sweep you away and even 6 inches of flowing water can cause you to fall. Hazardous pollution in the water and electrocution due to fallen power lines are also concerns.
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. If you live in a flood zone, prepare yourself and your family to leave quickly.
🌊How to escape a riptide
Rip currents are “powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Swimmers who get caught in rip currents should not fight the water by trying to swim straight back to the beach because they can get easily fatigued and drown, officials. They must swim parallel to shore and then swim back to land at an angle.
Here’s a guide released by Atlantic Beach officials ahead of the July Fourth holiday:
⛵How to stay safe on a boat
- Boater education: Learn the rules and your responsibilities. Seventy percent of boating accidents occur due to operator error.
- Check your vessel: Both the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons have certified vessel examiners who will perform a free vessel safety check. There are no consequences if a boat does not pass. You can sign up for an inspection here.
- Wear life jackets: More than 80 percent of boating fatality victims might have survived had they worn life jackets.
- Don’t drink while boating: One-third of recreational boating accidents that resulted in deaths involved the use of alcohol.
- Paddlers have a safety responsibility too: Canoeing, kayaking, rafting and stand-up paddle boarding can come with their own hazards. Among other tips, the American Canoe Association recommend you understand the dangers of cold water and the “rules of the road.” Some busy waterways have “lanes of travel.” It’s recommended that paddlers stay close to the shore to avoid larger watercraft. If a motorized craft is causing a wake, turn your bow into the wave and don’t take the wake motion broadside. You are less likely to capsize that way.
- File a “float plan” — a form that describes your vessel, passengers and planned navigation – with a reliable person on land. You can download one from the Coast Guard here.
- Carbon monoxide prevention: To protect yourself and others, know where CO can accumulate in and around your boat. Maintain fresh air circulation at all times and run exhaust blowers whenever the generator is on. CO symptoms are similar to seasickness or intoxication – treat symptoms of seasickness as possible CO poisoning and get the person into fresh air immediately.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard
🐕Pet safety in the heat, at the beach and in the water
- If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child’s wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.
- Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
- Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.
- Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.
- Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws.
- Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.
- Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog’s exposure during the day and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.
- Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.
- Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick.
- Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.
- Never throw your dog into the water.
- If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides.
- If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown.
- Never leave your dog unattended in water.
BEACH TIPS & WATER SAFETY
For more summer dog tips, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.
🎆Is there a safe way to handle fireworks?
All consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles and even sparklers, are illegal in New York State. But that doesn’t mean they don’t find their way here.
To demonstrate the dangers of fireworks, emergency responders blew up a shed using 30 boxes of fireworks, firecrackers and mortars seized in June from a storage locker in Medford (see above). The raid led to the arrest of a Shirley man on charges of illegal storage of explosives and unlawfully dealing with fireworks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported eight fireworks-related deaths in 2017, with victims ranging in age from 4 to 57. Fireworks also led to an estimated 12,900 emergency room visits nationwide — about two-thirds occurring around the July Fourth holiday, the commission said.
Suffolk Police Deputy Inspector Donald Raber also warned of the dangers of sparklers, which are prohibited in both counties.
“Sparklers can burn at over 2,000 degrees,” he said, leading potentially to second-degree burns to the fingers and face.
Long Islanders caught using a sparkler face a fine of up to $500. Anyone selling the devices could face 15 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Recommended safety tips
If you do find yourself around fireworks, the National Council on Fireworks Safety and the American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation offer some advice:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Do not operate fireworks under the influence of alcohol.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks and keep spectators at a safe distance.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
🚗What to consider before your teen heads out
Be cautious of where your teen wants to drive and with whom. Car crashes are one of the biggest concerns as young drivers out of school hit the roads with friends in tow.
The National Safety Council, a nonprofit public safety organization, said in a news release that teen drivers increase their risk of getting in a motor vehicle accident by 44 percent by having a single young passenger. The risk of an accident increases as the number of teen passengers in the car increases, the organization said.
More than 2,800 teens were killed in motor-vehicle crashes in 2016, according to the National Safety Council’s research. More than 75 percent of parents are unaware that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, the NSC found. Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight, so prom season is a particular concern and the council advised parents not to let kids drive themselves to the event.
The same goes for other summertime celebrations like graduations or graduation parties — especially when teens may be exposed to alcohol.
🏊Precautions for backyard pools
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 4, according to Pool Safely, a national public education campaign that aims to reduce child drownings.
The campaign offers these tips to stay safe around pools:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
- Teach children how to swim. There may be free or reduced-cost options at your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.
- Teach children to stay away from drains. Children’s hair, limbs, bathing suits or jewelry can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers and never enter a pool that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover.
- Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa. Teach children never to try to climb the barrier.
- Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
Public Space, Private BenefitPart 1:
How Nassau’s open-space purchases benefited political insidersPart 2:
Inside the land deals with connected LIersPart 3:
Taxpayers bought this land. But much of it is hidden
Nassau land deals saved acres of pristine property
Most land preserved through bond acts was on North Shore
Two landowners passed over for open space purchasesMap:
Explore land Nassau bought, the deals and access issuesVideo:
Watch: Visit by air and by foot Nassau’s hidden public spaces
Criminal cases against 10 politicians and public officials
Over the past few years, prosecutors have charged Long Island politicians and public officials with crimes ranging from tax evasion to bribery. Some of these cases resulted in convictions, while others are ongoing. Follow Newsday’s latest coverage on the most prominent cases here.
(Last updated: July 9, 2018)
The County Executive
Charges: Conspiracy to commit federal program bribery; federal program bribery; conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud; honest services wire fraud; extortion; conspiracy to obstruct justice
Edward Mangano, Nassau’s county executive, was indicted in October 2016 and accused by federal prosecutors of receiving “bribes and kickbacks” from businessman Harendra Singh, who has pleaded guilty to providing them. Mangano’s wife, Linda, was charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements involving “work she claimed to have performed” in an alleged no-show job from Singh, according to the indictment and prosecutors. Both Manganos pleaded not guilty. A judge on May 31 declared a mistrial in both their cases and their retrial is set for Oct. 9.
The latestJune 28, 2018: Judge sets Oct. 9 as Mangano retrial date June 1, 2018: Prosecutors intend to retry Edward and Linda Mangano corruption case June 1, 2018: Foreman: Mangano jury was leaning toward acquittal
The District Attorney
Charges:Conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding; witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding; obstruction of justice; accessory after the fact to the deprivation of John Doe’s civil rights
Thomas Spota, the Suffolk County district attorney, was indicted in October 2017 on federal charges that he was involved in a cover-up of ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s 2012 assault of a suspect. U.S. attorneys say Spota, along with longtime aide Christopher McPartland, intimidated and pressured witnesses not to cooperate with federal investigators in order to protect Burke. Spota pleaded not guilty to the charges. A day after his plea, he announced he would leave the office he has held since 2002. His last day in office was Nov. 10, 2017.
The latestApril. 12, 2018: Power on Trial: Judge in Mangano trial also presiding over Spota case April. 12, 2018: Judge gets Spota trial date for March, 2019 Jan. 26, 2018: Spota, former aide make brief court appearance in cover-up case
The Town Supervisor
State charges: Corrupt use of position or authority; official misconduct; conspiracy; defrauding the government
John Venditto, Oyster Bay supervisor, was indicted on federal corruption charges in October 2016. Venditto pleaded not guilty and resigned in January. His trial started on March 12, 2018. In June 2017, the Nassau DA indicted Venditto, who prosecutors said was involved in a real-estate deal and orchestrating a hiring. Venditto pleaded not guilty. A superseding federal indictment was announced Nov. 21 adding 21 charges involving allegations of securities fraud. Venditto was acquitted of all federal charges on May 24. He still faces state charges.
The latestMay 24, 2018: Venditto not guilty on all charges; jury still deliberating on Manganos May 24, 2018: Editorial: Respect for the solemn duty of a jury of one’s peers May 23, 2018: Power on trial: A video show, and a lawyer returns
Charges: Wire fraud; tax evasion; making and subscribing false corporate tax returns; failure to file return
Edward Ambrosino, a Hempstead Town Board councilman, was indicted in March 2017 and accused of failing to pay more than $250,000 in federal taxes on income, much of which federal prosecutors said came from jobs performed for Nassau County. Prosecutors said Ambrosino, a lawyer, siphoned off money for two years to a company he incorporated and underreported his earnings. In the week following Ambrosino’s arrest, the county Industrial Development Agency and Local Economic Assistance Corp. dropped him as one of their attorneys. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The latestMarch 22, 2018: Power on Trial: Singh, in testimony, drops a lot of names Nov. 2, 2017: Pre-trial deadlines set in Edward Ambrosino tax-evasion case Oct. 17, 2017: Supervisor to return campaign donation from indicted councilman
The Police Chief
Convicted of: Deprivation of civil rights; conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice
James Burke, the Suffolk County Police Department’s former top uniformed officer, was indicted in December 2015 and charged by federal prosecutors with orchestrating an elaborate scheme to conceal his own crime. Burke, who was named Suffolk police chief in 2012, beat a handcuffed prisoner who had been charged with stealing a duffel bag from Burke’s police-issued vehicle, officials said. Burke pleaded guilty in February 2016 to conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and violating the victim’s civil rights and was sentenced in November 2016 to 46 months in prison. Burke has filed papers to appeal his sentence.
The latestFeb. 1, 2018: Suffolk agrees to $1.5M settlement in Loeb’s federal suit Dec. 23, 2017: Arc of Thomas Spota’s career marked by close relationship with police Nov. 27, 2017: Brown: Third time a charm for Suffolk top cop search?
The State Senator
Charges: Conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right; conspiracy to commit honest services fraud; extortion under color of official right; solicitation of bribes and gratuities
Dean Skelos, former Republican State Senate majority leader, was convicted in December 2015 of using his power to help his son, Adam, get jobs and payments from businesses. Federal prosecutors said the senator pressured three companies to give jobs, fees and benefits worth $300,000 to Adam, doing favors in Albany for the companies in return. He also intervened with Nassau County to help one of them on a contract, prosecutors said. His son was indicted on the same charges. In May 2016, Skelos was sentenced to 5 years, and his son was sentenced to 6½. In September 2017, an appeals court overturned the convictions. Their retrial began in June 2018.
The latestJuly 10, 2018: Prosecutor calls Dean Skelos’ testimony ‘not credible’ July 9, 2018: Skelos: Son’s job was not in exchange for influence July 6, 2018: Dean Skelos testifies he asked people to help his son
The Conservative party leader
Convicted of: Converts to own use property of another; fraud by wire, radio or television
Edward Walsh, then a lieutenant in the county sheriff’s office, golfed, gambled and politicked on the county’s dime, federal prosecutors said, while at the helm of Suffolk County’s Conservative Party. Walsh pleaded not guilty in March 2015 but was convicted in March 2016 for illegally collecting more than $200,000 in pay and overtime pay he didn’t earn. His conviction sparked a battle over leadership within the party he once led. In June 2017, Walsh was sentenced to 2 years in prison and was ordered to make $245,811.21 in restitution and forfeit an additional $245,811.21.
The latestMarch 3, 2018: Editorial: Break up the game among Long Island political insiders Jan. 17, 2018: Ruling: Suffolk party illegally filled positions Oct. 18, 2017: Edward Walsh, ex-Suffolk party leader, surrenders to prison officials
The Town Commissioner
Federal charges: Attempt to evade or defeat tax
State charges: Money laundering; defrauding the government; official misconduct; bribe receiving; receiving reward for official misconduct; theft of services.
Frederick Ippolito, an Oyster Bay town official, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to a federal tax evasion charge in connection with $2 million in outside consulting fees he received while working as the town’s planning and development commissioner. He resigned two days after his plea. He was sentenced in September 2016 to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution. Ippolito died in prison in June 2017. On Dec. 12, 2017, a federal appellate court vacated the conviction because he died while appealing his conviction. In June 2017, Ippolito was charged by Nassau County prosecutors; a judge ended that case in September 2017.
The latestDec. 12, 2017: Appeals court vacates Frederick Ippolito conviction, citing death Nov. 28, 2017: Oyster Bay Town seeks buyer for property in alleged bribery scheme Sept. 27, 2017: Judge abates corruption charges against the late Fred Ippolito
The Town Democratic leader
Convicted of: Felony tax fraud (state), tax evasion (federal)
Charges: Tax fraud (state); tax evasion (federal)
Gerard Terry, the former North Hempstead Democratic Party leader, was charged in April and August 2016 with tax fraud after Nassau prosecutors said he compiled more than $1.4 million in tax debts while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in government work. He also was charged federally in February 2017 and pleaded not guilty. He resigned or was terminated from multiple public positions. In September 2017, Terry pleaded guilty in Nassau County to fourth-degree felony tax fraud. Terry pleaded guilty in October 2017 in federal court to tax evasion. He was sentenced on May 29 to serve three years in prison on the federal charges. On June 4, he was sentenced to 6 months in the state case.
The latestJune 4, 2018: Gerard Terry sentenced in state court to 6 months June 2, 2018: Stay tuned. More corruption trials on Long Island are to come June 1, 2018: Pols, clergy, civil rights leader wrote judge in Gerard Terry case
The District Attorney’s Aide
Charges: Conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding; witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding; obstruction of justice; accessory after the fact to the deprivation of John Doe’s civil rights
Christopher McPartland, one of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s chief aides, who ran the office’s political corruption unit, was indicted along with Spota in October 2017 on federal charges related to allegations the two were involved in a cover-up of ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s assault of a suspect. McPartland pleaded not guilty to the charges. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said McPartland since has been reassigned “to duties unrelated to his former responsibilities.”