Who hasn’t had the misfortune to get behind a school bus, which made us stop every block along your route? You know that summer has really arrived when your morning drive to work is yellow bus-free. School’s out, and with the arrival of this hallmark of summer comes a set of specific concerns to all adults. The most obvious concern to motorists our children at play, especially in residential neighborhoods. Whether on foot, on a bike or a skateboard or scooter, children (and by this, I mean anyone under the driving age in your state) are notoriously careless in their interactions with motor vehicles. Children believe, incorrectly, that motorists have a much greater ability to control their vehicles, and a much faster reaction time, then actually exists. Children will step out in front of a vehicle, chase a ball into a traveled roadway or otherwise put themselves in harm’s way out of a mistaken belief that the motorist observes them and will be able to avoid them. Drivers operating a motor vehicle in an area with homes should maintain a heightened sense of awareness for a potential interaction with youngsters.
Backyard swimming pools, whether in – ground, above ground or even inflatable, pose another very real safety threat. No one should EVER be allowed in the pool without proper supervision, regardless of age. Access to the pool, either from off the property or from within the property, must be secured. Gates should be closed and latched, and access to the pool from the home must also be secured. Sliding glass doors should have a bar or other physical restraint, and audible alarms on exterior doors should be considered, especially if younger children are present.
Family pets, especially dogs or other animals with the capacity to bite should be kept in an area which prevents inadvertent interaction with neighbors and others transiting the area, such as joggers, bikers or walkers.
Summertime is a wonderful season, but your enjoyment of the warm weather must be tempered by an increased sense of awareness of the potential for danger in your interaction with vacationing children.