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Summer Safety: What You Gonna Do?
5/17/2016 4:12:01 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

This time of year, I am often reminded of the hits I danced to back during the day when music was music. You just could not sit down on Gary “US” Bonds song “School Is Out”. It was one of those upbeat, swing your partner songs. I am talking about old school music.

It is amazing how relevant old school music is today. One of the verses was “No more books an’ studies, Now, I can stay out late with my buddies. I can do the things that I wanna do, ‘Cause all my exams are through.” The refrain is what I remembered the most and found myself repeating again and again. “School is out at last. An’ I’m so glad I passed. So everybody come and go with me. We’ gonna have a night with “Daddy ‘G’.” So, who in the heck was “Daddy G”? Daddy Gary? It didn’t matter and I didn’t care. All I knew was it was one of those get down, shake a tail feather dancing songs. You felt like dancing forever. Some guy would come along and pull you out of your seat onto the dance floor. Don’t act like y’all don’t remember. That was the innocence of then but this is now. Dirty men and women prey on small children. They are out there waiting to catch them alone.

There is just something about summertime. It’s an invigorating time of year. Children look forward to a break from early morning bus rides, long school days and after school activities. It’s a time for vacationing and spending time with family. As inviting and exciting as summer may be, it can also bring out the best and worst in folks.

Now that school is coming to a close for the summer, children will have nothing but time on their hands. Lots of free time can lead to serious trouble for some children. In some states, teens are required to register as sex offenders for sexting. That’s right! You heard me correctly. So, this is nothing to take lightly. You cannot have this conversation with your children enough about sexting.

And, don’t get caught up in your own world that you are oblivious to what is going on in your own home. Teens are in their rooms at night with their phones under the cover sexting and searching on free porn sites. Check your child’s phone and computer periodically for the history—sites that they have visited. You will be surprised to learn what they have been up to.

Listen up parents! I may be an old schooler but I ain’t no foola. It only takes a second for children to get into trouble. Be sure to engage your children in positive experiences this summer. The library is a good place for children to spend time reading and exploring, and it is free.

If you can’t afford to take them on a vacation, visit some of the parks and let them explore and discuss the many area attractions we have right here in Charleston and South Carolina.

Charleston is surrounded by beaches, but keep a close eye on them around the water. Keep them away from dangerous water holes. Enroll them in summer swimming classes. The County Parks & Recreation offer summer activities for children at a nominal fee.

While on the topic of swimming, a three year old drowned during a recent outing at James Island County Park. My heart goes out to the family. All it takes is one second for a child to disappear. Children are fascinated by water. They love to explore.

According to Remedy’s Health Communities Com., drowning is the second leading cause for injury and death in children under age 14. In the amount of time it takes to get a towel, answer the phone, or receive a package at your doorstep, a young child can be seriously injured or drown—even in very shallow water. Parents and caregivers should supervise children closely whenever they are around water and should not allow any distractions. They should take a first-aid course that includes how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Teach the child never to enter the water alone! Be aware of currents, riptides, undertow, and changing weather patterns.

Keep your eyes on your child and less time on your cell phone!!! Be sure you know where your child is and block out access to shady sites on the internet. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Now that you have the information, what ‘ya gonna do about it?


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