HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Authorities are calling the drowning of a three-year-old child at a house on Thursday in Jones County an accident.
Deputies were told the child fell into the pool.
According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children ages one to four.
Linda Robertson of Hattiesburg enjoys taking her five -year-old granddaughter, Lila, to swimming lessons at the Hattiesburg Family YMCA.
"She was afraid to go in the water and now she's paddling all over the place," Robertson said.
Robertson said knowing how to swim is essential.
"So she can be safe and so the parents can feel confident when they take them to the water," Robertson said.
YMCA Aquatics Director Dewy Case said a lack of swimming ability and supervision increases the risk of drowning.
"All it takes is a second to wind up in trouble," Case said.
Case said children in water should be watched at all times.
"Parents should be in the water within arm's reach and non-swimming children should always wear a life jacket," Case said.
In addition to parental supervision, there are other safety measures that can be taken.
"Parents can place alarms on the pool," Case said. "If someone falls into the water they'll signal an audible alarm to let you know that something is in the pool that shouldn't be there."
Four-sided fencing can prevent unsupervised access.
"Fences around pools with latches that are high enough where children can't reach them and latches on doors where children can't reach them to get out," Case said.
Case recommended that children take formal swimming lessons starting at the age of four until they can swim the length of a football field with multiple strokes.