With Blank Park Zoo, as well as numerous parks, pools, and playgrounds, Des Moines is a great place to be a kid in the summer. But a dark cloud hangs over our city’s past in terms of child safety. It was in the summer of 1982 that 12-year-old Johnny Gosch disappeared while delivering The Des Moines Register on his paper route. He was never seen again. Just two years later, in the summer of 1984, another paperboy, 13-year-old Eugene Martin, disappeared under similar circumstances. Both cases remain unsolved.
Summer is a time when kids should be free to have fun and just be kids. At the same time, children need adult supervision as they take part in typical summer activities, like riding their bikes, swimming, playing sports, etc. Thankfully, the likelihood of stranger abduction is extremely low for Iowa’s children.
What’s more likely to harm a child during the summer months? Drowning. If your kids are going swimming at a pool or lake, make sure a qualified lifeguard is present. If they are at a private pool, make sure they are being supervised by an adult who can swim. If the kids are boating, canoeing, or using personal watercraft, make sure they’re wearing life jackets that are appropriate for their height and weight.
With so many summer activities involving fire, it’s not surprising that burns are another common cause of injury to youth during the season. Never leave children unattended around a barbecue or campfire. It only takes a second for a child to receive a severe, possibly disfiguring, burn. Fireworks are another frequent cause of burns. In Iowa, most fireworks are illegal without a permit, and can only be used by qualified professionals. Sparklers are legal but can also cause severe burns. Once again, make sure your children only use sparklers under adult supervision.
Climbing a tree is almost a rite of passage for American children, but falls are another leading cause of summer injuries to kids. They can also get hurt by falling from playground equipment or off of bicycles, skateboards, or scooters. Make sure your kids wear helmets when riding bikes and skateboards, and always insist they have adult supervision when using playground equipment.
As is the case throughout the rest of the year, traffic accidents are always major cause of child injury and death during the summer. Make sure your children know how to safely cross streets and use traffic signals. When they are riding in a motor vehicle, make sure they are wearing seatbelts and harnesses at all times.
We at Hope Law Firm sincerely want you and your entire family to have a fun, safe summer that is filled with positive memories. If the unfortunate does happen and your child is injured, make sure to call our experienced personal injury attorneys at (515) 298-5056 for a free consultation.