Things can get really hot during the summer months here in Tucson, and one of the few ways to cool off is by taking a dip in the pool. But with that, the chance of water-related accidents also increases, especially among children.

The facility manager at the Oro Valley Aquatic Center, Brandon Laue, said, “Its imperative for children because if youre not practicing safe practices, it could be fatal.”

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for children between one and four years old and the second leading cause for those five to fifteen.

Laue explained the importance of “the buddy system.”

For children, that buddy is their parents. Laue, who is also a former swim instructor, emphasizes the importance of protecting your little ones this summer.

“Its super important to be vigilant of children when theyre in the water,” he said. “At a public facility, its really important you make sure there are lifeguards on stand, and theres supervision at a body of water because drowning can happen pretty quickly.”

Laue’s advice highlights the importance of fostering a safe swimming environment for young children. He says even the most experienced swimmers can be at-risk when proper safety isnt in place.

“We put them in swim lessons our first week here,” said one parent who had three children taking lessons at the aquatic center. “When they were one year old they knew how to swim, float, swim to climb out of the pool, and rescue themselves. My three-year-old too. Now theyve all been on swim teams, and theyre super strong swimmers.”

Other things to keep in mind while enjoying the water with children include sun safety, such as wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.

Laue says when you keep these factors in mind, drowning is a tragedy that can be prevented.