Now that our schools are out and our children are into their summer-fun mode, it’s important that we adults crank up our safety vigilance as we drive the streets of our home communities. Kids will be kids. They live in the moment, their awareness of their surroundings is easily distracted, and the anticipation of potentially dangerous situations often is not as well developed as we would like to think it is.
Perhaps it’s different in other Marion County communities, but in Hillsboro it’s not unusual to see children crossing intersections without first checking for oncoming traffic, riding their bicycles on the wrong side of the street, or making sudden turns on their bikes with little awareness of the vehicles with which they share the road.
The National Safe Kids Campaign estimates that every year, one in four kids ages 14 and younger will sustain an injury that requires medical attention. Forty percent of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42 percent of all injury deaths happen between May and August.
We’re glad the kids are having fun during summer break, and that they’re engaging in physical activities that take them outdoors for fresh air and exercise. We just need to be on the lookout for them, and take extra precautions to slow down or stop—even when it’s not our legal obligation to do so. Our kids are our greatest assets. Let’s protect them. —DR