In the words of Kathryn Lammers, “Drowning doesn’t discriminate.”
There is nothing funny about water safety, but there is a lot of fun to be had at her upcoming educational event.
So she is encouraging young and old alike to find time to attend the Fourth Annual April Pool’s Day, Saturday, April 27 at Splash Kingdom Wild West in Hudson Oaks. The free event is from noon-2 p.m. and will feature safety information, games, activities, prizes and, of course, swimming.
“Our goals for the 2019 event include fitting and distributing 300 life jackets, raising money for water safety lessons, and educating 500 community members on how to be safer around water,” said Lammers, who owns and operates The Swim Lesson People in Weatherford, which specializes in educating folks, especially youths, on water safety.
Over the first three April Pool’s Day events, Lammers said more tha 700 U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets have been given away and more than 1,000 children and adults have been educated on water safety.
“April Pool’s Day is a great event to help the public be water safety aware. Parents need to always lifeguard their kids, as drownings are silent and can happen very quickly in any type of water no matter how deep it is,” Weatherford Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation/Special Events Jaycob Kirkpatrick said. “These type of events are a good reminder of that. You can never be too prepared for water safety.”
Lammers said the idea for April Pool’s Day came from simply making a pun of the famous day when everyone tries to prank each other. And while they will be having fun, she said there are no pranks involved on this day.
“Many swimming pools across the country would celebrate and have something fun to go along with it. We decided to turn it into our big safety event to kick off swim season,” she said.
“Aside from celebrating swimming, we really want to hone in on the layers of protection when it comes to being safer around water. We do encourage all ages to participate. We know that young children are more apt to drown in pools, but teens are more at risk in open water. We have also seen a rise in bathtub drownings over the past couple years.”
Among the water safety areas that will be highlighted are pool fencing, CPR, swim lessons, life jacket safety and water watchers (keeping an eye on those in the water). Parents and caregivers will also be educated on planned versus unplanned swim time.
Lammers noted that in 2018, there were more than 90 fatal child drownings across Texas.
“Texas is still one of the top states in the nation with drowning rates, definitely not something to brag about or go with the ‘Everything’s bigger in Texas’ slogan,” Lammers said.
While the theme is serious, there will be ample chances for fun as well.
“Our partners in safety will have games for the event. Some of the games will include trivia, fishing, bean bag toss, bounce house - and we will have the snake pit (a series of five body slides) open for extra fun,” she said.
The day will also include a raffle, along with a variety of other goodies to be handed out, Lammers said. Concessions will also be available.
“We hope everyone can come out,” she said. “While April Pool’s Day is a one-time event (each year), being safer around the water is year-round.”
In addition to the upcoming event, Lammers said folks can follow Swim Lesson People on Facebook for water safety tips throughout the year.