Summertime safety [Editorial]

The Aegis

The good old summertime is in full swing. For kids in particular it can be the best time of the year. No school. Plenty of other really fun things to do, camps, ballgames, swimming, fishing, trips to the beach or the mountains or even out of the country. Or, just fooling around in the neighborhood.

It’s also the time of the year when our youngest people are most vulnerable to accidents, or worse, and this is particularly true where water and streets are concerned.

There have been two incidents in the past eight weeks where children were saved from near drowning, one in a backyard swimming pool, the other in a camp pool. Water is the ultimate attractive nuisance for children, too often a fatal one. Pools, regardless of the depths, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes — they all hold special fascination.

It seems ridiculously obvious to give out the reminder that no child, regardless of age or swimming ability, should be allowed anywhere near water without competent adult supervision. Too often, that doesn’t happen. The Susquehanna River has taken many a young life, most recently just a year ago when a 13-year-old drowned after jumping from the Perryville pier, where “no swimming” signs are posted but ignored. It’s sorry to say, but kids will be kids and when there’s swimming or messing around in the water involved, the consequences can be quite disastrous.

With all the parks and playgrounds and schools throughout our local communities, it would seem unnecessary for any summertime play activities to take place in or around the streets. Unfortunately, “playin’ in da street” is something of a rite of passage for children, both boys and girls. Like the water, parents can issue all the warnings and admonishments and carry out multitudes of punishments, but that won’t keep kids in the yard or on the sidewalk.

Unlike with the threats posed by water, motorists can play a role in trying to prevent serious accidents. Especially when driving in residential areas, slow down to below the speed limit, usually posted at 25 or lower, and be much more attentive, day and night.

Trite as it may sound, kids will be kids, and there’s no more happy a time to be kid than during summer. Let’s all do our part to make it a safe summer.

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