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25th Anniversary of April Pools Day! Come enjoy family fun and free water time to get ready for the season


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. Families can enjoy free swim time and activities at over 19 participating city, county and private pools throughout the state. A list of participating pools is available


The rain is starting to leave the area and warmer weather is approaching meaning water recreation season is right around the corner! Now, is the perfect time for families and community members to visit their local and receive the information they need to be prepared to enjoy the water safely.

At this year's 25th annual April Pools, families can enjoy time at their local pools and learn about proper lifejacket fitting and use, drowning prevention strategies, rescue techniques in case of water emergencies, and much more.

Access for a list of participating pools or check in with your local pool to ask about their participating dates and times.

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 or reduced fees.
  • Always wear a lifejacket when boating.
  • 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. At times, 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.
  • 58% of drownings happen in open water and 35% of drownings occur in private pools, spas, hot tubs, or bath tubs.
  • There were 22 preventable drowning deaths in King County in 2016. This is an increase from 15 in 2015. 
  • In 2016, there were 89 unintentional drowning deaths of Washington residents.

What the experts are saying

King County residents have ample opportunity for water recreation, both indoor and outdoor. Luckily, our area is also rich with water safety resources and home to a fantastic team of drowning prevention experts," said Public Health - Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes. "I encourage families to take advantage of April Pools activities at their local pools as they prepare for a fun and safe summer."

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 safety skills and learning how to swim are important for the whole family. Every family needs to start now to prepare for not just a summer time but a lifetime around our waters," added Dr. Linda Quan with Seattle Children's Hospital.

We believe that access to invigorating ways to enjoy nature, as well as opportunities to take part in health and fitness activities, are key to any great city's livability," said Christopher Williams, Seattle Parks and Recreation Interim Superintendent. "In Seattle, we are fortunate to have a variety of ways for residents to enjoy water recreation safely, including access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, rowing and sailing centers, lifeguarded summer beaches, and much more. Events like April Pools Day, as well as our family swim lessons, Jr. Lifeguarding camps, and swim scholarships, all contribute to helping families have fun and stay safe in the water".

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.