|The City of Chula Vista is kicking off Drowning Prevention Month with an April Pools Day event on Saturday, April 14 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Parkway Family Aquatic Center. The center is located at 385 Park Way in downtown Chula Vista. Children from 6 months to 16 years old will have an opportunity to participate in free swim lessons. Opportunities to swim with a Navy SEAL and to pre-tryout for the San Diego Lifeguard Services Junior Lifeguard Program are available for participants who already know how to swim. April Pools Day is a national campaign designed to spark awareness about drowning prevention efforts prior to the summer swim season.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14 years. In the past five years, 43 children under the age of 14 years old have fatally drowned in San Diego County. More than 400 children have been admitted to San Diego area hospitals for non-fatal drowning incidents since 2002.
“One of the most effective ways to prevent drowning is to teach your child how to swim, “said Manuel Gonzalez, Aquatic Supervisor III. “Our free April Pools Day lessons are designed to provide an introduction to the swim instruction that is offered through our Recreation Department. With more than 3,500 Americans drowning each year, this public health problem is a travesty since drowning is preventable but there has been little improvement in death rates over the past thirty years.”
Participants can pre-register by calling (619) 691-5088 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Thursday April 12. Participants can also register the day of the event, if space is available. Classes will be held at noon, 12:35 p.m., 1:10 p.m., 1:35 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. Children under the age of 4 years old must have a parent in the water with them and wear a swim diaper. An adult must accompany all children.
The April Pools Day event is supported by the San Diego County Aquatic Council, the International Pool and Spa Service Association, Safe Kids San Diego, the Department of Environmental Health, and Rady Children's Hospital.