From the Desk of Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton:
Summer is a time for outdoor play, renewing friendships, reliving memories, and trying new activities. So you and your family will also have a safe season, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association offers the following summer safety guidelines:
• Never allow a child to swim unsupervised. If your child is going with a friend to swim, be sure to speak with the adult in charge. Don’t be afraid to ask if they know CPR. Children can drown quickly, and in very small amounts of water. Even a brief span of inattention can be fatal. Take the opportunity to evaluate your child’s ability and general comfort in the water. Make sure your child knows the safety rules.
• Hydration is important for all ages, particularly in the summer. A dehydrated person can become weak, faint, and vulnerable. Make sure you allow at least eight glasses of water per day for each person, more if you’re involved in athletics or strenuous activities. If you’re traveling, freeze water in reusable containers to pack in a cooler. The ice will thaw gradually, but the water will stay cooler and more refreshing during the long, hot summer days.
• When schools are not in session, children often spend more time on the computer or in front of the television. Make sure your computer has an Internet filter (available from many family-oriented websites), and that you have activated the parental controls on your television. Teach your child never to give out their name, address, or other identifying information to anyone on the Internet. Make an effort to become acquainted with the parents of your children’s friends. Don’t be afraid to ask them what their guidelines are for their child’s Internet and television use.
• Set outdoor boundaries for your child. A good way to establish these limits is to take a tour of the neighborhood with your child and determine what areas are off limits. Perhaps you live near a highway or a busy intersection that might be designated “out of bounds” because of the risks they present to your child. Often, places with water, such as creeks, streams, and ponds are also out of bounds. Entering unfamiliar homes without a parent should always be out of bounds. Discuss these boundaries with your child and make sure they understand.
• Get to know your child’s camp counselors, coaches, troop leaders, ministers, and teachers.
When you speak to the adults in your child’s life, establish yourself as your child’s parent. If time allows, consider offering to volunteer or help out in some capacity. Not only will you enjoy the time you spend engaged with your child in summer activities, but you can watch their interaction with others and monitor their activities.
As your sheriff, it is my goal to help keep our community a safe place to live, work, and raise a family. Never hesitate to call upon your Sheriff’s Office for assistance. I hope that each of you have a safe summer season.