Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation

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Water Safety Programs and Information

“Make a Splash” FREE Water Safety Program

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The Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make a Splash” initiative to offer FREE Water Safety and Swim Lessons to young people in Prince George’s County.

The summer program will offer 600 spaces to participants ages 6-17, who hold FREE M-NCPPC Youth ID card.

There are six "Make a Splash" summer sites: Ellen E. Linson Splash Park, Fairland Aquatic Center, Allentown Splash, Tennis, and Fitness Park, Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool, and Theresa Banks Memorial Aquatics Center.

Participants will receive four FREE Water Safety Lessons designed to increase awareness of safety in, on, and around water, and to promote drowning prevention.

Visit our Aqua Access webpage for course details about the FREE program! 

    About Make a Splash

    The USA Swimming Foundation’s, Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.

    Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim.

    The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness, and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning.

    To date, more than 2 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 600 qualified lesson providers across the nation. To learn more, visit the USA Swimming Foundation's Make A Splash site

    The Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation is a Make A Splash Local partner and offers free swim lessons and water safety programs during the Summer at various M-NCPPC aquatic facilities and to various 2nd grade classes in the Prince George's Public Schools.

    Make a Splash Initiative in School 

    In collaboration with the Prince George's County Public School (PGCPS) system, the Department of Parks and Recreation provides second grade students with water safety information and swimming lessons at Department aquatic facilities during the school year since 2010. M-NCPPC has been awarded a grant from the USA Swimming Foundation to help sustain this program for the past several years

    "Make a Splash" is a national awareness campaign that saves lives by joining forces with grassroots learn-to-swim programs. The Department of Parks and Recreation is a local partner with the USA Swimming Foundation's "Make a Splash" initiative and provided 600 county youth the opportunity to participate in free water safety and introductory swimming lessons at six aquatic facilities from June-August.

    The Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation developed the "Make a Splash in School" program as an effort to reduce the alarming swimming safety statistics surrounding African-American and Hispanic communities. The latest national statistics indicate nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability putting them at risk for drowning. In ethnically-diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is more than double the national average. Additionally, children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be at risk of drowning.

    "Our goal is to provide safe swim opportunities to all youth in Prince George's County; this grant from the USA Swimming Foundation supports a continuation of our water safety programs into the school day in partnership with our local public schools", said Ronnie Gathers, Director of Parks and Recreation for Prince George's County.

    For information, call 301-446-6800; TTY 301-699-2544. 

    Pool Safely

    pool safetyUnder the agency's jurisdiction, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death, which include various types of consumer products. They are one group at the forefront of a national effort working to make drowning prevention a priority. In doing so, they launched a public safety campaign entitled “Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives.”  

    The campaign combines the efforts of a wide variety of partnering organizations, including water safety interest groups; pool and spa industry leaders; and, regulators of pools and spas (state and local).  This campaign aims to educate parents and children learn to protect themselves in and around pools and spas by offering information regarding water safety. The Pool Safely campaign is part of CPSC’s national information and education program associated with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Act. For more information check out:

    M-NCPPC has signed on to be a Campaign Safety Leader with the Pool Safely Campaign and we will be collaborating with this group in order to help disseminate messages and materials regarding water safety promotion and drowning prevention.

    Parents and kids: click here to play an interactive water safety game.

    Simple Water Safety Steps Can Save Lives

    Your greatest water safety assurance comes from adopting and practicing as many safety steps as possible. Adding an extra safety step around the water can make all the difference. You can never know which safety step will save a life -- until it does.

    Parents, always remember to: 

    Stay Close, Be Alert and Watch

    • Always watch your children and never leave them unattended.
    • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings.
    • Have a phone close by at all times.
    • If a child is missing, check the pool first.
    • Share safety instructions with family, friends, and neighbors.

    Learn and Practice Water Safety Skills

    • Learn to swim.
    • Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
    • Understand the basics of life saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.

    Have the Appropriate Equipment

    • Install a fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa at least four feet in height.
    • Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
    • Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers.
    • Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area.
    • Maintain pool and spa covers in working order.
    • Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles available for use.

    Pool Safely Pledge Information

    We are pleased to announce today’s launch of the Pool Safely Pledge, an online commitment to water safety that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is asking every adult and child in America to take this summer. The Pledge is designed to commit the American public to being safe in and around the water this year. It will serve as a visual reminder of the safety steps they should be using with their families every time they are near the water, as well as an opportunity for them to pass on these messages to their friends and family via social media.

    Make sure your family stays safe this year. And, be sure to take the Pool Safely Pledge