Inside your county government
May is National Water Safety Month
Charles County is surrounded by water — from the 300 miles of shorelines along the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers to neighborhood lakes and ponds to residential and public pools. Water safety is important throughout the year, but especially during the warmer months when pools open and children are more inclined to play outside. In celebration of National Water Safety Month, the Department of Community Services Recreation Division is offering free programs for the community during the month of May.
Before you make a splash in the pool this summer, make sure your family knows how to be safe in and around water. The Recreation Division is offering American Red Cross “Do Your Part, Be Water Smart” programs for all ages. Participants will learn about water safety while watching a video and practicing skills on the pool deck, and receive a certificate upon completion. Program dates are: May 6, Henry E. Lackey High School (3000 Chicamuxen Road, Indian Head); May 13, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center at St. Charles High School (5305 Piney Church Road, Waldorf); and May 19, North Point High School (2500 Davis Road, Waldorf).
The recreation division is also offering the free Swim Lesson Marathon for beginner swimmers. Children and adults are encouraged to come to the marathon for a 30-minute, introductory-level swim lesson with our trained instructors. Participants will learn basic swimming skills and how to be safe in, on, or around the water. This is a great opportunity for beginners who would like to become more comfortable in the water. Mark your calendar: May 1, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center; May 7, North Point High School; or May 21, Henry E. Lackey High School. Pre-registration is required and can be completed online at www. CharlesCountyParks.com.
Throughout the month of May, residents are encouraged to visit one of our indoor pools and sign the Water Safety Pledge. By taking the pledge, you agree to: 1) Never swim alone 2) Always obey all pool rules
3) Stay away from drains and suction fittings
4) Always enter the pool feet first
As a thank you for pledging to be safe, you will receive a free one-day admission pass for the Charles County pool of your choice. Our indoor pools are located at Henry E. Lackey and North Point High Schools, and Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center; and our outdoor pools open Saturday, June 4, at La Plata, Maurice J. McDonough, and Thomas Stone High Schools.
The recreation division reminds parents to remain vigilant while children are in and around water, and ensure your personal pool or spa has the appropriate safety equipment. By taking these simple steps, water-related accidents can be prevented. Remember, summer is near and so are the beaches, rivers, and pools. Enjoy a dip, relax poolside, and be safe this summer. Visit www. CharlesCountyParks.com for more information about Department of Community Services’ programs and events.
Eileen Minnick is the Charles County Director of the Department of Community Services.