BROUSSARD, La. (KLFY) – As we head out to have fun this Memorial Day weekend, keep in mind to be careful around and in the water. Drowning deaths are on the rise in Louisiana since 2020. Small children should especially be closely supervised, whether its at the beach, the lake, or at the swimming pool.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the number of child drownings is rising. Drowning is the third leading cause of death for children age 14 and under. It’s the leading cause of accidental death for children 4 and under. “This could happen to anyone. We never thought it could’ve happened to us,” said Heather Broussard.

Broussard’s 17 month old daughter Mazie drowned in the backyard pool at their home in Youngsville on October 20, 2020. “We were getting ready to run errands. In the time it took me to start washing a dish, I noticed it had gotten quiet. I couldn’t find her. My instincts were to look outside, even though the doors were shut. We know she must have gotten through the doggie door. We found her in the pool,” said Broussard.

Broussard created the non-profit ‘Mazie’s Mission’, to create water safety awareness. “What we hope to accomplish is to provide swim lessons to families that may not have the resources, and make sure every child has access to swim lessons,” said Broussard.

Broussard and her husband recently welcomed another member, Gabrielle, to the family. She says she’s her rainbow baby. “She’s our rainbow baby. The rainbow after the storm,” said Broussard.

Click here for the Mazie’s Mission facebook page