Granger Smith and his wife Amber are on a mission to help others prevent childhood drowning accidents. The couple recently sat down with Today to talk about their own personal tragedy and to share important information they've learned to help keep kids safe.
In June of 2019, the couple lost their 3-year-old son, River Kelly Smith, in a tragic drowning accident. Since that day, Granger and Amber have publicly shared their journey in hopes that it will help other families around the nation.
Behind the scenes footage from Today, shot in the family's home, is featured on their recent episode of their YouTube series, The Smiths. "I didn't understand child drowning like I do now," Granger admits in the video. He goes on to explain how drowning is a silent "multi-layered" tragedy that happens in a very quick period of time.
Amber shares several tips and tools she's discovered that she didn't know about before losing her son. She says families with a pool should have a four-sided, four-foot fence around their pool with a second lock for additional safety. Pool alarms, swim survival lessons and life vests are a few other suggestions Amber made to help families stay safe.
Additionally, the couple is currently researching the My Buddy Tag, which is a system where both a child and their guardian wear bracelets that enable the adult to set certain parameters for how far a child can travel away from them. If the child goes farther than the set limit, an alarm will go off.
Amber ends with an encouraging note to parents. "Just love your kids," she says. "Be present with your kids, spend time with them as much as you can, because as we know, we're never promised tomorrow ... and with as much control as we think we have, we don't."
The Smiths continue to honor their late son's memory through the River Kelly Fund. The organization will support charities and causes that are close to the family's heart, including arts and education, wildlife preservation, first responders and more.
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