Florida leads the nation in child drowning deaths of children ages 1-4. A majority of those happen during summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

According to the Department of Children of Family services just this year alone 46 children have died in our state. 78 percent of those are under the age of 3.

While it appears most died from being unattended, according to the Red Cross children learning how to swim reduces these tragedies. It's why swim agencies across the county start teaching water survival skills to infants.

The Red Cross reports if a child doesn't learn how to swim by the third grade they likely never will.

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren is taking part in an event Saturday raising money to make sure children across the Bay Area have a chance to learn these lifesaving skills.

He says none of these kids had to die.

"I have two little girls. I want children just like them to know how to swim to prevent accidents from happening around the pool for their friends and for all the kids around the community. These are tragedies that happen that are preventable and avoidable and we are trying to do everything we can to make sure no one has to go that terrible situation where they lose a child to drowning," he said.

For many people, paying for swim lessons is not an option. The money raised at Saturday's event will allow parents to send their children for free.

The State Attorney's Office Swim-A-Thon benefiting drowning prevention swim lessons is from noon to 4 p.m. at the Central City Y

The Office of the Public Defender, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Police Department, and Tampa Fire and Rescue are also competing in the fundraiser.

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