THE return of the hot weather means a return to the water for many Australians, and that's something certainly worth celebrating.
But the return of the hot weather also means the return of the terrible dangers that go hand-in-hand with a water-loving population like ours - and particularly for young children.
Shocking figures released this week by the Royal Life Saving Society found that more than 500 Australian children aged under four had drowned in the past 18 years.
Of these, 207 were aged one and below.
The figures found that the risk of drowning triples when a child starts to crawl and peaks soon after the child's first birthday.
They are awful statistics and the raw numbers should be enough to make us all take notice.
It's impossible to imagine the pain hidden behind each of those numbers, and the never-ending loss of a life not properly lived.
Life Saving Society CEO Justin Scarr noted that drowning deaths in young children are wholly preventable and it's up to all of us to play our part.
"At this age, they are curious and unpredictable," Mr Scarr said.
"It is vital you keep constant watch. We are reminding parents that 'kids can't help themselves, so you have to'."
Please enjoy the water this summer, but please remain alert to just how a celebration can become a tragedy.
One drowning death is one too many, but 500 over 18 years is a national tragedy.