Swimmers learn safety for Drowning Prevention Month

When temperatures rise during the summer months, kids across San Diego will cool off by splashing at the beach or in the pool. But first, lifeguards want to make sure they have the skills they need to be safe and possibly save a life. According to national statistics, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages one through four in the United States.

On Saturday, April 29, hundreds of parents and kids beat the heat at Memorial Pool in Logan Heights for April Pools Day, a chance to splash in the water and learn some valuable water safety tips. April Pools Day is a collaboration between the City’s Park & Recreation Department and the Drowning Prevention Foundation, kicking off a series of water safety events held through the summer across the city. The event included lessons on CPR and the proper way to fit life jackets, also kicking off May’s National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month.

City Councilmembers David Alvarez, Lorie Zapf and Chris Cate issued a city proclamation to mark the day while attendees enjoyed food, music, water and sun safety giveaways. San Diego Fire-Rescue and Aquatic Pool Guards collaborated on a simulated drowning rescue and a visit from Josh the Otter reinforced the importance of having adults accompany children around pool areas. Andy Field, Deputy Director of the Park and Recreation Department, recognized volunteer Mary Ann Downing with the Aquatic Safety Volunteer of the Year award for 2017.

“April Pools Day is a great opportunity to help parents and children be better prepared for the summer months when swimming becomes a much more common activity,” said Herman Parker, director of the City’s Park and Recreation Department.  ”Working in partnership with the City’s Fire-Rescue Department and other organizations we are able to help educate the public about water safety and  techniques offer skills they can learn to save themselves or someone else.  Drowning is very preventable and we encourage everyone to sign up for any number of classes at one of our 13 pool facilities.”

City aquatic centers offer swimming lessons and programming throughout the year. To learn more, visit https://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/centers/aquatics.