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Enjoy free fun and family water time for April Pools Day


There will be free swim time and games at over 20 participating city, county and private pools throughout the state. An updated listing of participating pools is available at: — Most events will be held on Saturday, April 16th, but check with your local pool for specific dates and times.


As we get ready for the swimming and water recreation season, it's a great time for community members to get the information and time in the pool they need to enjoy the water safely. At this year's 23rd annual April Pools Day, Saturday, April 16th, families can enjoy time at local pools and learn among many things, proper lifejacket fitting and use, drowning prevention strategies and rescue techniques in case of a water emergency.

Key tips and facts

Water safety tips:

  • Make sure all family members know how to swim. Lesson programs exist in nearly all communities. Many offer scholarships and other encouragements.
  • 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, inner 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 or use impairing substances when swimming, boating, or supervising children.
  • Learn CPR.

Drowning facts:

  • Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and teens age 1-17 years old in Washington.
  • In 2014, there were 98 unintentional drowning deaths of Washington residents.

What the experts are saying

"Swimming is a great way to stay active and fit, and staying safe in the water is the key to a successful swimming season," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. "Please take advantage of April Pools Day to learn important tips about water safety, and always wear a life jacket on our beautiful lakes and rivers and in Puget Sound. Everyone can learn the simple steps to take to prevent drowning."

"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

"In a city surrounded by water it is especially important to teach kids to swim so that they are safe," said Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation. "We are pleased to have an expanded scholarship program which helps make swim lessons affordable to more children who meet eligibility based on family size and income."

April Pools Day activities are supported by Public Health – Seattle & King County, in collaboration with the Drowning Prevention Network of Washington State, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Safe Kids, Seattle Children's Hospital, and Washington Parks and Recreation Association.

Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for two million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health — Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.