I love to swim.  Some of my fondest family memories revolve around the water.  I grew up in Ohio rather than a beach town, but my love of water (and a Navy helicopter minesweeping flyboy) led me to Virginia Beach.  Water seems to have always been a part of my life from the small pond near my childhoood home where I learned to swim, to Bowling Green State University where I was a lifeguard, to days on the beach with my children….water has surrounded and influenced my life. I can see many happy days in my memory where my family was on a beach in “one particular harbor” in St John USVI. I cannot imagine a 4th of July not surrounded by family and friends in a pool. Water has been a complete joy in my life.

For some, water is no longer a joy because they have lost a family member to drowning. From 2005 to 2014 there were approximately 3,500 fatal drownings annually in the U.S.  Drowning is the leading cause of death for chidren between the ages of 1 and 4 years. One in every five people who drown is under 14 years of age.

Drowning deaths in children are preventable.  There are measures you can take this summer to protect your children. To learn how, please read my article in this month’s Tidewater Family Magazine: http://www.tidewaterfamily.com/health/swim-safely-this-summer

Have a wonderful and safe summer in and around water.  I pray that you too can have only happy memories of your family around water. Keep your kids safe around water.  Enjoy your summer!