Summer is well on the way, kids are going crazy watching the clock, and hopefully everyone has been working out a bit extra to look and feel their best this summer.

A topic that’s not always top of mind is SAFETY.  During the summer kids and even adults are at higher risk in Nebraska.  Bad habits, increased opportunities for bad guys, and environmental risks end up causing a great deal of injuries, problems and financial loss.
Here are a few idea of things we can do to keep our families safe this summer:

1. Keep garage doors etc. closed when you aren’t right there…..don’t make it easy for people to steal from you.

2. Make sure kids (and everyone) are drinking tons of water—dehydration is a major issue in Nebraska that can cause or worsen a near infinite list of problems… solve the problem ahead of time!

3. Make plans—the days of just “go out and play somewhere around the neighborhood until you hear mom yell for you for dinner” are GONE.  Many of us grew up that way, but today it’s simply too dangerous.  Knowing when and where your kids are is important to ensure their safety.

4. Remind kids about sticking to plans and avoiding strangers.  This sounds so obvious and redundant—but it needs to be said and done again and again.  Predators know that kids are alone or away from adults far more often in the summer and that there are many opportunities to get to them.

5. Emergency prep for kids:  all kids should know who to call and where to go if mom and dad aren’t around.  Also, when out and about select the “meeting place” or where to go if you get separated somehow—this can avoid hours of searching for each other.

6. Sunscreen—again it should go without saying, but making sure to err on the side of caution makes sure we protect ourselves and our kids against sunburns, increased risk for health problems (and of course added future wrinkles).

7. During the summer it’s even more common for others to be out walking around neighborhoods.  Since they don’t look out of place, it’s accepted.  But, it’s also a time to be cautious.  If you aren’t expecting someone, why answer a doorbell?  If you open the door even an inch or two, you are not in a position to stop them from forcing entry (and this happens more often than you would think in broad daylight).  If you absolutely must respond like Pavlov’s dog and go to the door, at least go to a window first or look through the peep hole and if it’s not someone you know then take a pass.  Don’t fall for a fake service call, a fake UPS uniform or a fake attempt asking for water or to use the phone—your safety just isn’t worth the risk!

For more information on Health, Fitness and Safety, email Jeff Dousharm at