Clark County would like to remind parents that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children aged 1-4 years with most deaths occurring in residential pools according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
"A drowning can happen any day of the year here in Southern Nevada, but especially starting in the spring when the weather warms up and backyard pools and other bodies of water can be so attractive to young children," said Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "We need to work together as a community to prevent drownings and encourage adult supervision at all times when children are near water."
There are thousands of residential swimming pools, residential spas and commercial pools and spas throughout Clark County, making the risk of drowning ever-present.
"Drowning can be silent and quick," said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. "It is important that everyone is making sure children are always supervised any time they are around water and they cannot gain access to your pool when adults aren't present."
The Southern Nevada Child Drowning Prevention Coalition, which include Clark County's Fire Department, Parks and Recreation Department and Building & Fire Prevention Department, are partners in the drowning prevention effort. In addition, the local cities, fire departments, University Medical Center, pool builders and supply companies, Clark County Safe Kids, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, and other agencies and organizations urge all adults to take a pledge to be a Water Watcher every time children in their care are in or near water. Parents also are encouraged to ask about Water Watcher plans whenever they leave their children near water and under the supervision of another adult.
The following three steps are recommended to prevent drownings:
- Patrol – Always designate an adult Water Watcher to actively watch children in the water, including pools, bathtubs, or other bodies of water.
- Protect – Install barriers between your home and pool to ensure safety including fences, door alarms, locks and spa safety covers. Lock doggie doors children can't crawl through them.
- Prepare – Create a water safety plan for your family. Enroll children in swimming lessons, take adult CPR classes, and be sure to equip your pool with proper safety equipment including life jackets, personal floatation devices and rescue tools. If an emergency happens, have a telephone nearby to call 9-1-1.
Clark County has 16 pools and water parks, including facilities in Laughlin, Logandale, Overton and Indian Springs. Swimming lessons are offered year-round at the Aquatic Springs indoor pool and Desert Breeze and Hollywood Aquatic centers, and seasonally at other facilities. Currently all Clark County Pools are closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. When the Stay at Home Directive is lifted Clark County will post more information on dates for when parents can begin registering for swim lessons. Swim programs and lesson schedules of activities vary at each Clark County pool location. Lessons range from beginning skills to get swimmers comfortable in the water to aquatic sports such as swim team, synchronized swimming, water polo and lifeguarding skills.
Swimming lessons are available for children as young as 6 months to adults and address skill levels from introductory to advance. Visit Clark County Parks and Recreation's Website: www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks or Social Media channels such as Facebook: @clarkcountyparks and Twitter: @clarkcountypark for updates on when the department will resume programming for the public.