In conjunction with drowning prevention efforts this spring, Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick and the Department of Parks and Recreation received a grant on behalf of the County Commission at Tuesday’s BCC meeting from the Southern Nevada Chapter of the International Code Council (SNICC) to provide free swimming lessons to toddlers.
The SNICC is donating a total of $17,500 to seven local entities to provide swimming lessons for children aged 4 and under. Clark County is receiving $2,500 along with other grant recipients that include the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite and the Southern Nevada Drowning Prevention Coalition. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among Clark County children under 4 years old, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. In 2021, there were 21 submersion incidents in Southern Nevada, 81 percent of them among children under age 4.
“Drowning is a year-round concern in Southern Nevada, especially among young children,” Commissioner Kirkpatrick said. “We appreciate this grant from the Southern Nevada Chapter of the International Code Council because it allows us to offer free swimming lessons to families that may not be able to afford them.”
Swimming lessons are offered year-round at Clark County’s Aquatic Springs indoor pool and Desert Breeze and Hollywood Aquatic centers. Lessons are available for children as young as 6 months to adults, with programs and schedules varying at each location. The Toddler Swim Grant Program is offered at various facilities for free until funding runs out. The public can register online for swim classes via the pool/aquatic registration pages of the County’s Parks and Recreation Department website: https://bit.ly/2V6dQHa.
Registration for the first session of summer swim lessons will open on Thursday, May 26. Clark County operates 15 aquatics facilities including pools in Indian Springs, Laughlin, Logandale, and Overton. Seasonal pools are open to the public in May (Memorial Day weekend), June, July, and August. County pools and aquatic facilities are recruiting to hire part-time lifeguards, water safety instructors and other staff for summer jobs. Interested candidates must be age 15 ½ and older. For more information, call (702) 455-1708. The public is reminded of the following key steps to prevent drownings:1. Patrol – Always designate an adult Water Watcher to actively watch children in the water, including pools, bathtubs, or other bodies of water. The public can download Water Watcher pledge cards from the drowning prevention page of the Health District’s website at https://tinyurl.com/3yyz87zz. Pledge cards also are available at County aquatics facilities.
2. 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.
3. Prepare – Create a water safety plan for your family. Enroll children in swimming lessons, take adult CPR classes, and 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 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 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 7th-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 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.