May is National Water Safety Month, and during this time, we pause to acknowledge those we lost to drowning and make people aware of why we should practice safety when around water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning incidents claim the lives of more than 3,900 people every year in the U.S. alone.

My heart broke at the news that Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shaquil Barrett lost his 2-year-old baby girl Sunday, April 30. The linebacker's little girl drowned in the family swimming pool at home.

According to reports, Tampa Police dispatch got a 911 call that a child had fallen into a pool in the Beach Park neighborhood shortly before 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Despite immediate efforts to revive Barrett's youngest child Arrayrah, she was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Our deepest condolences go out to his family in their time of grief.

Children are naturally fascinated with water because let's not forget that we form in our mother's womb surrounded by water. Water is stimulating and fun, but it is also dangerous. Children ages 1-4 die from drowning more than any other cause. For children ages 5-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death after car accidents which is #1.

Let this year be the year that we break this cycle. Make sure your kids learn how to swim; if you don't know how to, take swimming lessons with them and make a family event. It's important. Below is a list of local locations that offer swimming lessons:

Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Center - 602 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy - Moss Bluff, LA - (337) 855-7708
Lake Area Adventures - 1337 Country Club Rd - Lake Charles, LA - (337) 310-1681
Our Lady Queen of Heaven Family Life Center - 3939 Kingston St - Lake Charles, LA - (337) 474-6814
Petite Swimmers ISR - Infant Swim Resource Classes - (337) 802-1141
Rec & Aquatic Center - Sulphur Parks and Recreation - 933 W Parish Rd - Sulphur, LA - (337) 527-2500
True Blue Watersports - 5959 Common St - Lake Charles, LA - (337) 310-1681
Swimsational Swim School - 878 N Beglis Pkwy - Sulphur, LA (337) 476-3076
Ward 3 Recreation Center - Power Center Pkwy - Lake Charles, LA - (337) 282-8463

American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children ages 1 to 4 should learn how to swim and that they are less apt to drown with formal swimming. Some kids start swimming lessons as early as 6 to 8 months (with a parent!)

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