Safety’s always in session

Published 9:22 am Friday, June 14, 2013

Today’s the last day of the school year for public students. No more pencils, no more books…you know the rest. So from today until September, kids will be everywhere: Sidewalks, streets, swimming pools and parks, you name it.

Celebrating their seasonal freedom, many will likely forget to watch out for cars on the roads. That’s when drivers must be especially alert, particularly in residential areas.

Parents would do well to regularly stress to their children they also have an obligation to check their surroundings for potential hazards, such as cars, motorcycles and trucks. If a ball bounces into the road, don’t immediately go running after it. Stop. Look and Listen.

Further, riding bicycles on the sidewalks can be tricky when negotiating with pedestrians. We suggest cyclists of any age to stop for a moment and yield to those walking, or even just walk their own bicycles around others. And don’t forget to wear those helmets.

If you haven’t learned to swim yet, now’s as good a time as any. Keeping a lifejacket on in the early stages of learning couldn’t hurt. Always have someone else with you in the pool, lake, river or ocean when swimming. You can keep an eye on one another in case of accidents.

At the park, follow any posted rules, such as staying on pre-made nature trails if available. Give wildlife of any kind a wide, wide berth. No matter how friendly chipmunks and raccoons might seem to you, for example, they don’t see us in the same light. Animal bites and rabies shots are nobody’s idea of a good time.

Courtesy and common sense can go along way to minimize harm, and ensure a season’s worth of fun.