Editorial: Remember these tips to continue having a safe, fun summer

It seems to happen every year.

Summer is slow to get here, but seems to go by so quickly. In just a few short weeks, local students will head back to the classrooms signaling the unofficial end to summer. But as our summer winds down, there is still time for us to take advantage of these long, warm days -- boating on the lake, catching lightning bugs with our children at dusk, family cookouts, etc.

But while we are outside, we must pay attention to the heat and also remember rules to keep us safe around water and while we are enjoying those cookouts.

Here are tips that we can all follow from the American Red Cross to stay safe for the rest of the summer:

• Prevent unsupervised access to water. Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers and keep a constant eye for any water dangers such as portable splash pools/slides, buckets and bathtubs.

• Adults should actively supervise children and stay within arm's reach of young children and new swimmers. Kids should follow the rules. Designate a "water watcher" to keep a close eye and constant attention on children and weaker swimmers in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.

• Always wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat and if in a situation beyond someone's skill level.

• Swim as a pair near a lifeguard's chair -- everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy even in areas supervised by lifeguards. Always maintain constant attention and actively supervise children even when lifeguards are present.

Over 75% of U.S. adults use a grill each year, and grilling causes over 10,000 home fires on average each year, according to the Red Cross, which offers these grilling safety tips:

• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don't add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

• Never grill indoors -- not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.

• Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.

• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.

• Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

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