Don’t let summer fun turn to tragedy

Common sense can go a long way toward keeping us safe

Monday was the unofficial beginning of summer.

It seems like every year during the summer months we have to report tragic events that we’d rather not publish.

So, once again we share these words of caution with our readers.

Backyard grilling, swimming, hiking, playing a game of catch in the front yard, jumping on the trampoline in the backyard, fishing, boating — summertime is a lot of fun.

It can also be dangerous.

As families enjoy recreational opportunities, we encourage caution.

A great family outing can instantly turn into tragedy.

When driving to and from your destination, always make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt or placed in a child restraint.

That is one precaution everyone can take, and there is no excuse for not protecting your family with that one easy step.

No matter how fussy a child or infant becomes on a trip, there is no good reason to ever remove a child from a restraint in a moving vehicle.

Never ever leave your children or animals in a parked car. Even on mild days, temperatures in a car can soar quickly, endangering their lives.

Of course, don’t drink and drive.

Don’t text and drive.

Georgia also has boating laws designed to save lives.

The allowable blood alcohol content is the same as for driving a car.

The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08 and anything over that level is considered boating while under the influence.

The law makes good sense.

Children must also wear life vests and while some people may think such laws are too restrictive, they are designed to save lives, and there is little doubt lives will be saved and serious injuries prevented.

Other summertime precautions are simple, but necessary.

For example, always follow meat temperature cooking guidelines.

Make sure that all valves are clean and clear of obstruction on gas or propane grills.

Store fuel tanks in a safe place that is well-ventilated.

Monitor children even in your own home or backyard.

Drivers, be alert.

Children often dart into the roadway chasing a ball or simply not paying attention to their surroundings.

Slow down in neighborhoods.

Obey traffic laws and signage.

Is the minute you save by excessive speed or reckless driving worth the life of a child, or even your own life?

It should go without saying, but road rage is senseless, immature and, frankly, inexcusable.

There are so many other warnings we could issue and precautions we can all take.

We cannot remove all risks, but we can all use a little common sense.

Have a safe, and enjoyable, summer.

— Editor Jim Zachary