Its a big world out there

The end of June signals the start of summer holidays – for students anyway.

Depending on age, this will be the start of a summer job and saving up for higher education. For younger students, it’s a time for play and fun all day long with neighbours and friends. These are the best of years, so we hope students and families can make the most of it.

For one set of people this will be the last summer of serendipity. Around the corner, semesters will start for college and university. Despite the legions of Hollywood movies chronicling the high life of going away to school, it can be a rather stressful time.

Leaving home for the first time, being responsible for keeping a budget for lodging, food, books and entertainment isn’t that easy. But it is nevertheless a character building exercise and part of that passage from kid to adult that students remain privileged to undertake. It’s a tremendous opportunity and we hope those going away make the most of their time at school.

For others, graduation will be the start of working life. People who might not be inclined to take on further formal education or for those who have already completed post-secondary studies, it’s time to get to work. If school seemed rough, there are some rocky times ahead, applying the skills learned in the real world. Excuses matter little and productivity becomes the objective.

Summer brings with it dangers, too, so a quick reminder is in order.

Employers must provide some form of health and safety protocol in their workplace. Summer help and those starting their career, deserve to work in a safe environment and be informed of potential hazards.

Farms too, typically have summer help hired for haying and other work. Tractors aren’t play toys and equipment can kill.

It would be worth having a good orientation on safety rules for young workers – and visitors should be given the same reminders.

Again this week a drowning occurrence made the News, this time in Scarborough. Excitement quickly gets in the way of safe play, so parents really need to take some time to talk about pool safety with kids and why it is important to swim with an adult at hand. With the many styles of pools today it is important to fence off whatever area the pool takes up. For many townships that is the law.

Water Sports and boating are also happy times that can have harsh consequences. Boats need to have life jackets, and as is the case on the highway, booze is not allowed.

In fact many busy rivers and lakes are visited by police marine units and those found drinking and boating will be charged. It’s a chance not worth taking.

For other campers we would ask that everyone treat their camp sites like their own property. With the weather scheduled to be hot and dry, we suggest people are extra careful with their camp fires.

Often times young people might forget to look both ways and its important drivers keep an eye out for kids on bikes or running into traffic. Fun can get in the way of safe play.

Parents and neighbours also owe it to young people to keep an eye on strangers. Like most things in life, it’s more about being cognizant of what is going on by being aware of strange faces at parks and splash pads.

It’s a big world out there with lots to explore. Here’s to a safe summer for residents of Wellington County.