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May 31, 2013

OUR VIEW: Watch out for children this summer

LOGANSPORT — With schools out around the area, motorists should keep their eyes open for an increased number of children playing outside.

As you drive, scan the area around you, looking for youngsters playing near the street. Children can be unpredictable and unaware of the danger around them. Keep in mind that a child might suddenly dash into your path.

Watch out for crosswalks, and be alert for people who might step off the curb and into your path.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and area law enforcement agencies remind parents never to allow children to walk anywhere alone, whether to the store, a friend’s house or the neighborhood park.

Never allow children to play outside alone. Police warn that predators sometimes cruise neighborhoods looking for unsupervised children. Police urge parents to take turns keeping an eye on neighborhood children or enlist a trustworthy family member to do so.

Kids riding bikes, roller blades or skateboards should always wear helmets, and make sure your kids know they should always stop at stop signs and look right, left and then right again before crossing the street.

Kids should protect their skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays by using sunscreen and wearing sunglasses, and they should never play unsupervised near streams, pools, retention ponds or other bodies of water.

Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children up to the age of 19. Every day, about 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Make sure the playground equipment your child uses is properly designed and maintained and that there’s a soft landing area below.

Youngsters work best in threes, and when one child heads home, the others should go home, too.

Call the police if you see a suspicious person or vehicle roaming the neighborhood, and make sure your kids know how to dial 911 in an emergency. Children should also know their addresses and their parents’ names and phone numbers.

Summer can be a wonderful time in the life of a child, with opportunities for adventure. But one careless mistake can turn that fun into tragedy.

Let’s all do what we can to keep our children safe.

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