COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- Temperatures are hot, and swimming season is in. Reports show South Carolina is is the number one state in the nation for drowning deaths. But the Red Cross says formal swimming lessons can reduce childhood drowning 88%.
According to the C.D.C., drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children below the age of 14. 800-900 children drown in the U.S. every year. Kitty Konkle has been teaching swimming lessons in the Midlands for thirty years and says it can make a life-saving difference.
"How many times do we hear someone has jumped in the lake and not come back up?," said Konkle. "It's important. We have a lot of water in this state. Children want to be able to have fun in the water. Once they have that confidence, they just thrive."
Konkle says it's best to start teaching swimming from a young age because you can never go wrong with extra precaution in the water.
"I just can't imagine being in a pool like this, having all your friends out and you're standing at the other end with floaties on because you can't swim," said Konkle. "There are affordable lessons in Columbia and I think children need to be enrolled in swimming lessons."
Visit the USA Swimming Foundation to find swimming lessons in your area.