In 2008, 745 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional drowning. That's 745 too many.
With summer here, you may find yourself spending more time in and around the water than in past months. So now is the time to increase your vigilance around the water.
Last week, my girls and I hit the local lake for the first time this summer. Even though my youngest was swimming in the deep section with no problems last year, my eyes and ears perked up when she headed out in that direction. Sure enough, since this was her first time swimming in a while, she got herself into trouble swimming out further than she could handle. Fortunately, I was watching closely, so one quick swim and I was right by her side.
Kids need constant supervision around water. It's easy to forget, particularly if they were swimming on their own last summer. But winter months may have slowed those water skills, so you need to keep a close eye on your kids when they're around water whether it's a wading pool, a swimming pool, at the beach or in a lake.
The best way to prevent drowning? Take a swimming lesson and make sure your kids take one too. Don't assume that a child who knows how to swim isn't at risk for drowning. If your child is swimming in deep water, consider fitting her with a life vest that will keep her afloat. If you're on a boat, this is a given — and it's the law.
And don't forget to take into account the temperature of the water. Body temperature drops quickly in cold water. If your child is shivering, pale or complaining of cramps, get him out of the water ASAP
Related: 5 lesser-known swimming safety tips