The Herald Bulletin

June 27, 2013

Editorial: Help kids have a safe and healthy summer

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Summer's here and the time is right for, not necessarily dancing in the streets, but safety in the streets.

Kids are out of school playing games and riding bicycles and four-wheelers and, like kids of all generations, they're concentrating more on the fun than they are the safety issues. It's only natural. Days are longer and warmer and after being cooped up in school the previous nine months, kids are ready to burn off some excess energy with fun under the sun.

Unfortunately, some kids will be hurt. They are going to get scraped, bruised and cut as a matter of course. But with adult guidance, hopefully more serious injuries can be avoided.

The hospitals call summer the trauma season because of all the kids who come through with a variety of problems, most of them seasonal. In order to avoid a trip to the emergency room, parents have to take an active role in keeping their kids safe and informing them, daily, of all of the pitfalls of a summer day.

During the school year, kids are in the classroom under the watchful eye of teachers, but summer brings freedom, and parental responsibility becomes greater in keeping children out of harm's way.

One of the most common summer injuries arises when children get in the way of traffic, either on their bikes or playing games in the street. Drivers have to be aware of children at all times because they can show up in the blink of an eye. Again, it's up to parents to tell children about the dangers of traffic.

As if summertime outings don't provide enough opportunities for accidents, July 4 rolls round and out come the fireworks. That's where parents and children need to be especially vigilant. Sparklers can catch clothes on fire. Firecrackers can take off a finger. Fireworks need to be approached with extreme caution. They can do a lot of damage.

Kids are going to enjoy their summer. The school year will roll around quickly enough so they'll try to cram a year's worth of activities into a couple of months.

Let's make sure kids have a happy, healthy summer and skinned knees are the worst that happens to them.

POLL QUESTION Do kids need more structure in their summer activities? Yes, plan out what they're doing and there will be fewer accidents No, let them play at their own games but keep an eye on them