April Pool's Day makes for safe swims

Paddling their way across the Si View Pool, from left, Zachary White, 7, of North Bend, Daniel Farrow, 4, of Snoqualmie, and Zachary
Paddling their way across the Si View Pool, from left, Zachary White, 7, of North Bend, Daniel Farrow, 4, of Snoqualmie, and Zachary's brother Alex White take part in watery fun while learning safety techniques, such as wearing life jackets, during the 2008 April Pool's Day.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

As warm weather nears, children and families make their way to the water for cool relaxation.

But even a shallow stream or familiar river can be a risky place for people who don't know how to be safe. That's the reason Si View Pool holds its annual April Pools Day Event.

Back for its third year, noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18, April Pool's Day is a statewide event to share information, tips and training.

"The main emphasis is to encourage water awareness," said Donna Lovell, recreation coordinator for Si View Parks District.

Drowning is one the biggest causes of death of children worldwide, Lovell said. And while many local residents may be familiar with local waterways, or be great swimmers, there's always something more to learn.

"People don't realize the difference that current and temperature can make in a waterway," Lovell said. People may enter the water thinking they're just going to wade, but the current can catch them off guard, and the cold will freeze their limbs and make it impossible to swim.

Lovell stresses the importance of wearing a life jacket at rivers and beaches, and being aware of current and temperature.

For the smallest children, even the backyard kiddie pool can hold some risk of drowning.

"It doesn't have to be a raging river," she said.

Fun day

April Pools Day combines serious information about water safety with fun family events, such as raffles, a cannonball contest and an open swim.

Children learn the right way to maintain their body position in the water to stay warm, and the best ways to float down rapids or strainers

Contests, relay races puzzles and coloring contests and a raffle round out the day.

Admission to April Pool's Day is free. The event is sponsored by Seattle Children's Hospital, the Washington State Drowning Prevention Network and the American Red Cross.

Si View Pool is located at 400 S.E. Orchard Dr., North Bend. Call the pool at (425) 888-1447.

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