UNDATED (KTHV) -- There's something about the blue water of a swimming pool that calls to you on a hot summer day. But according to Heather Williamson with Arkansas Children's Hospital, the cool and calming water can sometimes be distracting and deceiving to a young child who just has fun on their mind. "When drownings happen they are very, very quick. It really takes just a moment."
Even if your child takes swimming lessons, Williamson says they still need close supervision. "A water watcher is an adult that is doing nothing but watching the kids. They're not cooking on the grill, they're not reading a book, and they're not on their cell phone. They are just solely watching the kids."
Williamson says our state has one of the highest drowning rates in the nation and most often than not, those drownings occur around natural bodies of water. That's why when enjoying one of our states lakes or rivers; life jackets are the number one, most important accessory. "If you're going to be on the lake or at the river, life jackets for everybody, you know kids need to have them on and we also want parents to have them one also. We want them to model the good behavior. Okay, so life jackets first and foremost."
Williamson says buy life jackets with the U.S. Coast Guard seal -- that means they're safe and have been approved for use. Arm Floaties and cute inflatable devices help keep your child's head above water and might make them feel more secure, they are in no way intended to be emergency floatation devices like a life jacket or vest.
Remember supervision and life jackets are key for keeping your kids safe around water this summer.