(c)2022 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.)
by Erin Cleavenger, The Dominion Post
Summer is right around the corner. Thoughts of icy road conditions and snowfall totals are slowly being replaced with sunny days by the swimming pool and outdoor adventures.
With the pandemic keeping many people indoors over the past two summers many are looking forward to being outside more and finding those fun summertime activities. As we turn our attention to the summer sun it is important to keep safety in mind while having fun.
To help spread safety awareness in the community, the second annual April Pools Day event this Friday, April 1, at Mylan Park Aquatic Center in Morgantown, will present summer safety tips and tricks so you don’t end up a fool at the pool this summer.
“We are really, really excited to provide the resources and make people aware of how to stay safe while still having fun and enjoying themselves outside,” said Mylan Park Aquatics Manager Miranda Butler.
The aquatics center will be joined by several of their partner organizations who will have interactive learning stations set up covering a variety of topics like sun safety and UV protection, open water exploration, boating and outdoor safety, safe swimming practices, and more.
“As the weather turns warmer, we know that many folks will get outside and enjoy all West Virginia has to offer. We are looking forward to it too,” said Forest Weyen, executive director of Mon EMS, who will be attending the event. “Our goal in participating in this awesome community event is to kick off the summer season encouraging folks to have as much fun as possible, but to make sure to do so in a careful and safe manner.”
Weyen said Mon EMS will have an ambulance available to tour and explore that will have their life saving equipment on display to see, touch, and learn about. They will also have some interactive hands-on exhibits and will be doing some small demonstrations for attendees.
All participants that stop at the Mon EMS station will be able to enter their name for a summer basket that will be given out at the end of the evening, Weyen said. They will also have a few handouts on summer safety available.
Butler said water safety instructors that work with the aquatics center and the water safety program and the learn to swim program through the American Red Cross will be available to discuss various water safety topics like “learning how to wear an appropriate floatation device and sizing correctly, learning about UV and sun safety and what that looks like for you. And also discussing water and lake safety.”
Since summer isn’t all about the water, this year’s event will be expanding safety topics to include activities outside of the water as well.
Columbo Law will be on scene with their helmet truck and will be giving away free bicycle helmets during the event, Butler said. Representatives from the West Virginia University Pediatric Trauma Program and the American Red Cross will also have learning stations available.
Participants who complete the full guided safety tour will earn free entry to the Huntington Community Pool at the aquatics center through 8 p.m. Guided safety tours will begin at 4 p.m. and will continue in 30 minute intervals until 7 p.m.
If you are not interested in gaining free entry by taking the guided tour, a visit pass can be purchased to gain access to the community pool for $6 per person.
The Aquatics Center is located at 1847 Fitness Way in Morgantown. For more information you can call the center at 304-933-AQUA (2782).
Those interested in attending the event are encouraged to pre-register by clicking the promotions and events tab on Mylan Park’s website mylanpark.org.