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April Pools Day – Enjoy family fun and free water time to get ready for the season


There will be free swim time and games at over 14 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 15th, but check with your local pool for specific dates and times.


As the swimming and water recreation season is approaching, it’s a great time for community members to spend time in the pool and get the information they need to be prepared to enjoy the water safely. At this year’s 24th annual April Pools Day, Saturday, April 15th, 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, even if they know how to swim. 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 2015, there were 140 unintentional drowning deaths of Washington residents.
  • In 2016, there were 22 preventable drowning deaths in King County.

What the experts are saying

We live in an area surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers and the Puget Sound. Staying safe in the water is key to a successful swimming and recreation season," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

"Please take advantage of April Pools Day events in your community to learn important water safety tips to prevent drowning, and always wear a life jacket when you are out on the water."

There are lots of ways to enjoy the many indoor and outdoor pools in Washington State. April Pools Day will help kids and families learn how to be safe while having fun in the water. Knowing water survival skills and learning how to swim are important for the whole family," added Elizabeth Bennett, Director of Community Benefit and Guest Services with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

We are blessed to live in an area with water at our doorsteps, and Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a variety of ways for residents to get out and enjoy water recreation safely. Events like April Pools Day, as well as our family swim lessons, our scholarships to help teach children how to have fun and stay safe in the water, our Jr. Lifeguarding camps and more, all contribute to a successful swimming season," said Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

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.