Zionsville Times Sentinel

April 3, 2013

Keep kids safe while outdoors

By Tess Worrell

— Despite the ongoing cold, spring is coming. Soon, our children will break out the bikes, the basketball or the hiking shoes to spend more time outdoors. After a winter locked inside, parents need to refocus on outdoor safety and remind children of basic precautions.

Remind of rules of the road

Last week our youngest took advantage of a sunny semi-warm day to pull her bike out of the garage. Excited by the fact that she remembered how to ride, she drove straight toward her sister, who was pulling the car into the driveway, to share the good news. Sister and mom had a long chat reminding her of the need to stay away from cars — not head toward them.

Younger children need this reminder every spring. Because they live in the immediate, the excitement at seeing a friend pull in the drive causes children to head toward cars. A mini-course in basic road safety — even if you thoroughly covered the subject last year — will help remind children of the precautions they need to take. Stay away from cars, walk against the traffic, and a review of hand signals for biking on the road are just a few of the safeguards we can offer.

Teens may also need a few reminders. Spring means more runners, walkers, children and dogs sharing the road. As they drive to work or school, extra attention to others will help prevent tragedy.

While you are at it, take time to check the fit of the bike helmet, adjust the height of the seat, and check the brakes. As children grow, they need bigger equipment to stay safe. Also check for cracks or other signs that the helmet’s protection has been compromised.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.