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April Pools Day to enjoy fun and learning in the water | King County
As we gear up for the outdoor swimming and water recreation season, it's a great time for community members to get the information they need to enjoy the water safely. At this year's 21st annual "April Pools Day" on Saturday, April 19th, families can enjoy time at the pool where they will learn proper lifejacket fitting and use, drowning prevention strategies, and rescue techniques in case of a water emergency. There will also be free swim time and games at 25 participating city, county, and private pools throughout the state. Many events will be held on Saturday, April 19th but check with your local pool for specific dates and times.
More about April Pools Day:
April Pools Day activities are supported by Public Health – Seattle & King County, in collaboration with the Drowning Prevention Network of Washington State, Tukwila Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Safe Kids, Seattle Children's Hospital, and Washington Parks and Recreation Association
"We have fantastic opportunities for swimming and water recreation that provide a great way for families to be physically active together," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. "Keep it fun and safe by making sure children are supervised on and near the water and always wearing a lifejacket when boating in lakes, rivers or Puget Sound."
"There are lots of ways to enjoy the many local pools in Washington State. April Pools Day will help kids learn how to be safe in the water. There are often scholarships available to ensure that all children are able to access the swim lessons they need to have fun and stay safe in the water " added Elizabeth Bennett, Director of Community Benefit and Guest Services with Seattle Children's Hospital.
April Pools Day will be the perfect kick start for the upcoming water recreation season. Be prepared to dive right in!
"We recommend swimming only when a lifeguard is present," said Amy Kindell, Tukwila Parks and Recreation Aquatics Program Specialist. "Fortunately April Pool's Day exists so that families can have fun, learn about water safety and do it all in the presence of our lifeguards."
Water safety tips:
- Make sure all family members know how to swim.
- Always wear a lifejacket when boating in lakes, rivers or Puget Sound.
- It's best to swim only in designated areas with lifeguards. If that is not possible, wear a lifejacket.
- Be especially careful when swimming, boating, tubing, or rafting in rivers due to dangers from currents and cold temperatures. The safest decision may be not to enter the water.
- Have infants and children wear a lifejacket when in or near open water.
- Supervise children and teens when they are in or near all types of water. Ensure supervisors are close enough to provide immediate rescue to children.
- Do not drink alcohol when swimming, boating, or supervising children.
- Learn CPR.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and teens age 1-17 years old in Washington.
- The populations at highest risk for drowning are young children under the age of five, males (especially those between 15-24 years and those 65 years and older), people with seizure disorders, and people who cannot swim.
- In 2012, there were 112 unintentional drowning deaths of Washington residents- an increase from 93 in 2011. Twenty-two of these drowning deaths were children younger than 18- an increase from 15 deaths in 2011.