UNITED STATES—The summer heat is upon us and what best way to cool off than with a dip in the water, but the water can be dangerous America. Do you know the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 1-4? Yes, the little ones are dying as a result of drowning in water. Children older than four are also drowning in pools, lakes, rivers and ponds.

This is the time of year to teach water safety to kids and to adults. Pools can be fun, but that can also be seriously dangerous. All it takes is a second for kid to drown and this is where supervision is so important. Kids cannot be in a pool without adult supervision. I’m sorry I don’t care how small the pool is, the young ones are in danger if they’re not being watched, and they don’t have proper safety devices like a life vest or floating devices. It just takes a little bit of water for a catastrophe to unfold.

I recall when I was maybe four or five and we were swimming at my uncle’s pool. One of my cousins was playing a joke and pushed me into the pool. At the time I could not swim that well. My cousins were not in the pool, but suspected I was joking in the water, but I was underneath, and I was panicking. Truth be told I was on the verge of drowning. Thankfully, my older sister jumped into the pool and rescued me, and it was a lesson learned to the others not to mess around when it comes to the pool.

I don’t know if that trauma has scared me for life to a degree because I have a massive fear of large bodies of water more so when it comes to bridges. It is like a gripping fear for me to go over a bridge and be surrounded by bodies of water on both sides. I almost feel like the pressure is caving in and it is more a fear of not having a safety net or somewhere to escape.

I want to assure you, I can swim, but it is just a fear that I unfortunately have and like most adults, I am working through it. The tale I want to get out there is that taking swimming lessons is important. You need to know how to swim because it can be life or death for you or others in your orbit. Definitely it is key to know how to swim if you’re in the pool, but then you have those dare devils who like to think because they can swim, they can take a dip in a lake, pond or the gutsy ones into a river and they’ll be fine.

Not so fast, with most pools you know the safe zones and the deep ends. With a lake, pond, river or beach/ocean, you don’t know where the shallow starts in some cases and where the deep end begins. Not to mention you have to worry about the current. Water currents can be so strong they can whisk a child, a teen, a young adult and an older adult in a matter of seconds and there is nothing one can do as a result.

Those lakes and ponds are particularly dangerous because the waters can be muddy and dark and there can be plenty of debris that can cause an individual to become trapped, and it could lead to drowning. It can start at two to three feet, and you move a few inches and you’re 20 to 30 feet deep in the water. If you can’t see, you can’t swim the danger lurks and in a big way. Also, this is for the young adults and older adults, mixing drinking and the water is not safe.

When you mix the two, you’re opening the door for some serious danger to unfold that can be deadly. If you’re planning to have a few cocktails it would be wise not to take a dip in the water or at least have someone close by to discourage you from going into the water because you are not in sound mind. You might think you’re capable of doing things that you actually aren’t.

With all this water talk we are chatting about, knowing CPR is important. It can save a life, if someone is drowning giving them CPR immediately is key to preventing possible death and further damage to the brain because of a deprivation of oxygen. The longer someone is unconscious the worse the side effects can be. Getting ample oxygen in a timely fashion is literally life and death.

My final warning is for the adults allowing kids to take a dip into the pool, be aware of what is going on. You have to watch the kids. Don’t take your eyes off of them. If you see someone struggling, get in that pool ASAP. To be quite honest, there should be an adult in the pool and another adult watching from the sidelines to ensure water fun goes all well without any worries along the way.