- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Yet another school year has come to a close in Calvert County. Families are packing up to head to the beach, amusement parks, visit distant relatives, or over the oceans to see faraway lands. But, when they are not away, children are playing around the neighborhood — a reason that driverís should be on the lookout.
Children have spent the better part of the last 10 months with noses buried in books, doing their best to pay attention in the classroom and, at least at the elementary level, spending a little time outside getting some exercise on the playground. Now that school doors are closed, children are limited to their backyards and area parks to play ball, chase each other around with water balloons, play tag or whatever other activity they choose to do with friends. With all the excitement of playing games and otherwise being a kid, children often throw caution to the wind, and that is where adults need to remind them to play it safe and adults need to be mindful of their surroundings.
Kids will be kids — they can momentarily forget the dangers of running into the street while chasing their favorite soccer ball or the family pet. They can get caught up in fun and can forget they need to get home before the sun goes down, not realizing they are not wearing clothing that makes them visible to drivers in the dark.
While kids should be mindful of the world around them, adults can take extra precautions when driving through neighborhoods. Drive a little slower than the posted speed limit. Scan the road ahead of you for activity. If possible, make sure you park your car in the driveway to give drivers a clearer view of the street. Use high beams to further illuminate your surroundings. Watch more carefully for bicycles and pedestrians after dusk. Simply put, pay more attention when you are behind the wheel.
As for parents, make sure you remind your kids to stay out of the street whenever possible. If their favorite soccer ball goes rolling into the roadway, let it go until you can be sure no cars are coming. If possible, ask an adult to retrieve it. If your child plans on staying out closer to dusk, make sure they have on bright clothing to make them more visible to drivers. Also of importance, make sure children are traveling together, as a larger group is easier to spot than a single person.
Many of these tips might seem like common sense, but many of us can remember what it was like to be a kid — we just simply forget that there are dangers around us when the game we are playing just got really interesting. We cannot blame kids for not being mindful every moment of every day, but sometimes a reminder that their soccer ball can be replaced and they cannot might be helpful. Summer breaks are something we miss as we get older. Letís take some steps to make sure we all do become older.