SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Brockton boys, ages 12 and 13, drowned in a lake Saturday night where they had been skipping rocks in shallow water. One boy fell in near a steep drop off, the other drowned tried to rescue him.

It can happen in a matter of seconds. Drowning is among the leading cause of young lives being lost across the country.

Springfield Aquatic Director Joe Federico urges parents to make certain their children learn how to swim and how to encounter the dangers they face when they go into the water. Also, how to sensibly overcome those fears.

“The fear of the water develops in children at a very young age. My suggestion is acclimate them with the water at a very early age. See if they can get over that natural fear,” said Federico.

As we head into the upcoming swimming season, Federico says it’s always a good idea to make sure there’s a lifeguard or a parent close by at a local pond or swimming pool.

“If there’s a lifeguard on duty or I would definitely have a parent or adult. Do not to go in deeper than you know you can,” said Federico.

The Red Cross has water safety tips to help keep your kids safe when swimming this summer.

  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Don’t leave children unattended near a body of water, teach children to always ask for permission to go near water
  • Have younger children wear a life jacket near water
  • Constant supervision
  • Teach your children to swim
  • Place appropriate barriers around pools to avoid anyone falling in
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count.