Kids can get into all sorts of trouble if left to their own devices, so it’s up to their parents or guardians to take steps to keep them as safe as possible. The following are some likely places children will be during the summer and safety tips everyone should know.
• Pools: Nothing says summertime fun like hanging out at the pool, whether it’s in your own backyard, the neighborhood pool or at a friend’s. Steps parents can take to ensure their child’s safety while swimming are:
• Swim lessons: While knowing how to swim won’t always prevent water accidents, this can go a long way toward staying safe in the water. Even very young children can be taught to float. Parents should still supervise their kids in pools, however, and not rely solely on items like water wings to keep their kids safe.
• The buddy system: No one should swim alone, even accomplished swimmers. You never know when a cramp could hit and cripple you in the water. Especially for children, swimming with a buddy can prevent drownings; if one person is in trouble, a friend can go or call for help.
• No horseplay: Running or rough housing around a slippery pool deck can lead to accidents. Make sure your children know that running isn’t acceptable.
• Beaches: For families who want to spend a day or week of vacation at the beach, the same pool safety tips apply, but you’ll also want to make sure your children know:
• To wear a life jacket: If you boat or Jet Ski in the ocean, wearing life jackets is important. Set a good example by wearing one yourself.
• Home: If both parents work outside of the home and children are old enough to prepare their own meals or surf the Internet, some areas of concern may be:
o Strangers: Children should be taught never to answer the door if their parents aren’t home. Also, if they answer the phone and don’t know who’s on the other end of the line, they shouldn’t say that their parents aren’t home. Saying “they’re not available to come to the phone” is better practice.
• The stove: Only children who are old enough to capably use the stove should be allowed to cook. Even so, because accidents can happen to anyone, they should know where the fire extinguisher is located in the event of a fire and an escape route.
• Internet safety: Many children will spend a lot of their summer vacation online, chatting with friends or playing games. Unfortunately, child predators use the Internet as well, trying to lure children. Make sure your child knows not to divulge any personal information, such as name, address, phone number, city, etc. Also, using a firewall or other computer programs to prevent a child from accessing pornography is a good idea.
• Malls: When children are old enough to walk the malls without their parents, they often relish this independence and want to hang out with their friends. It’s smart practice to discuss mall dangers such as:
o Strangers: Child predators sometimes lurk around malls, knowing that young kids are susceptible to ruses such as being on television or helping to find a lost pet or friend. Parents should caution their children to avoid anyone they don’t know and never to go off with anyone, whether they know them or not, without their parents’ permission.
• Vacations: If your family goes anywhere during the summer, having a plan in case someone is lost is smart practice. Some parents have a family password, so that if a child wanders off and someone claims to know where the child’s family is and will take him to them, the person has to know the password. Still, it’s better to tell the child to look for a gift shop or information desk and wait there. Discussing all of this beforehand-family passwords and where to go if they get lost-will go a long way toward preventing disasters.
Following basic children’s summer safety tips can ease your mind when your children are with you and when they’re not. This way, summer can be fun and relaxing for the kids and for you.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
As we celebrate 4th of July, I’d like to encourage all West Park residents to cooperate in making this one of the safest and most enjoyable Fourth of Julys ever! Independence Day has always had special significance in our city. All of us are blessed to live in the greatest city, state and country that the world has ever known. We enjoy privileges and freedoms that exemplify the zenith of human civilization.
And while each of us has the right to celebrate the birth of our nation in their own way, no one has the right to endanger the lives or safety of others. This year let’s have safe July 4th celebrations and in observing the laws and the rights of others. West Park let’s display true patriotism, and a true appreciation for what it means to be an American.
Let’s all work to keep the spirit of mutual respect and love of country alive, not just on Independence Day, but year round in the City of West Park.
As you enjoy this holiday with family and friends, I hope you will take a moment to recognize how fortunate we are to live in this country, this state and this very special city. West Park is a community with safe clean neighborhoods, beautiful parks and excellent surrounding schools. This high quality of life doesn’t just happen. It is residents working together to make life better for all.
I also urge you to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Please remember those serving in the military, who are advancing the cause of freedom around the world.
Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at
(954) 889-4164 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.