With the arrival of spring, swimming pool season has officially arrived in Clark County, and officials are reminding the public to keep careful watch over children to prevent water-related injuries and drownings.
There are thousands of residential and commercial swimming pools and spas in Clark County, making drownings a year-round concern, but the risk becomes greater each spring when the weather warms up and swimming becomes a popular pastime for children and families. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4 with most deaths occurring in residential pools, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
“Spring is a good time of year to remind the public about the importance of drowning prevention and water safety awareness,” said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. “Unfortunately, drownings can happen in a matter of seconds, without a sound. It is important that everyone makes sure children are always supervised any time they are around water and to make sure kids cannot gain access to your pool when adults aren’t present.”
Clark County’s Fire Department and its departments of Building & Fire Prevention and Parks and Recreation partner with the Southern Nevada Health District and other agencies in Southern Nevada to promote water safety and drowning prevention. Adults are urged to be water watchers every time children in their care are in or near water. Parents are encouraged to ask about Water Watcher plans whenever they leave their children near water and under the supervision of another adult. The public can download Water Watcher pledge cards from the Health District’s website at https://tinyurl.com/ws3sjyfj. Pledge cards also are available and county aquatics facilities. The county also created a drowning prevention public service announcement that is airing on Clark County Television and social media sites including YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/duwpt284. The key steps to prevent drownings are:
- 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 offers swimming lessons year-round at the Aquatic Springs indoor pool and Desert Breeze and Hollywood Aquatic centers. Lessons are available for children as young as 6 months to adults. Most outdoor pools offer swim lessons during the summer months as well. Swim programs and lesson schedules of activities vary at each 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. Online registration for the first session of summer swim lessons is set to open on Thursday, May 6, via the pool/aquatic pages of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department website: www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks. The public also can learn about Parks and Recreation activities on social media channels such as Facebook: @clarkcountyparks and Twitter: @clarkcountypark.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.