Our Voice: Maximize your summer fun with best safety practices

April 14, 2014 

Sunny days bring us out to enjoy the weather.

And with that move to spending more time in the great outdoors comes exposure to additional hazards.

That makes spring a good time of year to review safety practices with your household.

Irrigation canals teeming with fast-moving water may look like a welcome respite to young children hoping to cool off on a hot day. Remind them that canals are dangerous and deadly to people and pets. Both should steer clear.

It's also the time of year when the sun seems to blaze directly into your eyes when driving at certain times of the day. Sunglasses and some extra caution should be applied.

Kids are out in full force on skateboards, scooters, bicycles and foot. They're making baseball diamonds and basketball courts out of cul-de-sacs. Make sure your kids know the rules for pedestrians. And put a helmet on them if they're on wheels. It's the least you can do for their safety and those around them.

Our rivers draw those wanting to boat and swim. Make sure you follow proper safety procedures on board. And if you're going for a dip from shore, there is no shame in wearing a life vest if you don't know how to swim -- or even if you do. The water is colder and faster than you might think.

Snakes are starting to poke their heads out and already have been spotted on popular hiking trails. Give them a wide berth and the respect they deserve, but don't let them keep you from enjoying the health benefits that a good hike and a dose of Vitamin D can provide.

Sunscreen can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your time outside. Wouldn't it be nice to skip that first sunburn of the season that only reminds you when it's already too late? Do your skin -- and your long-term health -- a favor and wear it every day.

Keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially those wearing headphones. They might not hear you but you can see them. We should be responsible for ourselves and others as well.

More than anything, get out there and enjoy it. Sunshine is one of our greatest assets and it soothes and feeds the soul. We have more energy when we get more fresh air. We can shake off some of that pesky winter weight.

Enjoy that never-ending yard work but be careful burning tumble weeds. It's easy to set fire to the garage.

Try out some of the great hiking trails in the region. Take your boat out on a warm afternoon run up the river.

Just remember basic safety practices -- and remind your loved ones as well.

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