Police are investigating after a child drowned at Lake Belton Wednesday evening.

Police were called to Temple Lake Park at 7:04 PM. Upon arrival, they tried to perform life-saving measures on a 3-year-old girl later identified as Skylar Parks. The child was transported to Baylor Scott & White, where she succumbed to her injuries Thursday morning.

The case remained active Thursday, but police say an initial investigation points to an accidental drowning.

Please keep Skylar's family in your prayers. I cannot imagine the heartbreak of losing a child.

I want to share some safety tips that I hope will be helpful in preventing other Central Texas families from experiencing this horror.

The first tip is a BIG one that I cannot stress enough: DO NOT count on flotation toys like water wings or pool noodles to keep your child safe. When in the water at our lakes, children should always be wearing life jackets that are properly fitted. A life jacket that doesn't fit right will not protect a child nearly as effectively.

Never let your kids swim unsupervised, whether they're swimming in a pool or at the lake. They should never be out of your line of sight or beyond your reach. Make sure they know they should never enter the water without an adult.

Be watching for boats and personal watercraft. People operating these vessels are supposed to be looking out for swimmers and avoiding areas where people frequently swim, but never assume they are. In fact, when my mother was teaching me to drive, the first thing she told me was to assume that everyone around you is either drunk, distracted, or just a horrible driver. It's a way to drive defensively and keep yourself safe. I recommend the same when it comes to vehicles on the water. Never assume the operator is sober, attentive, or knows what they're doing. It's not worth it.

Learn CPR. Most hospitals, fire departments, and even parks & rec departments offer CPR classes. If your child is old enough to learn with you, take them along and make sure they understand the lessons. They could save another child's life or even yours.

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