Officials stress water safety ahead of Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer.

Many North Texans will hit the lakes or hang out at the pool. But it's also a time to make sure you enjoy the water safely.

Dana Gage is on a mission with her son’s story and a determination to prevent even one family from the tragedy of drowning like she did.

"We hear the stories and we think ‘That poor family.’ And we get back to our awesome life. Never really absorbing the fact that it’s a common problem,” Gage said.

Cook Children's Hospital on Friday kicked off an awareness campaign linking doctors, charities, victims’ families and even the YMCA. This summer, thousands of kids will hit the center’s swimming pools.

Statistics show when more adults are around, supervision can fall off.

"More people think someone is doing it when really there hasn't been an assigned responsibility,” explained Lauren Ashton Moncrief with the Metropolitan Fort Worth YMCA.

Gage lost her 15-year-old son, Connor, during an outing with his friends at Possum Kingdom Lake. He could swim, but he was not wearing a life jacket. His mother is now fighting to keep others from making that mistake.

"Suffering must have meaning and purpose,” she said. “Without that, it is just despair."

Since 2013, Cook Children’s Hospital say the number of children admitted for drowning injuries year-round has increased 72 percent. Since then, 28 children admitted to this hospital have died from drowning.