Keeping kids safe this summer

Friday, June 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Friday was the first day of summer, that meant hundreds of Green Country little ones will be looking for fun and educational things to do.

News on Six reporter Tami Marler caught up with busloads of children who visited Woolaroc Friday, to celebrate the 12th annual KidsFest.

It's hot. There's just no getting around it. As Kidsfest kicked off at Woolaroc, the sun beat down, the humidity sweltered and temperatures soared. Emergency room doctors call the summer months "trauma season" because tragedies peak from May to August. Safety experts say summer is no time to take a vacation from safety, Tonya Boatman of Coffeyville agrees. “Just to try to keep them with me; make sure I always know where they are at all times.”

Large groups and families stay together by wearing like-colored clothing, that way "strays" are easier to spot. Water is where safety experts say the most serious summer accidents occur. So they say to keep a very close eye on your children anytime you're close to the water; even if you're not planning to swim. "To watch them if I think they are getting too hot; to take them to the shade; or into a cool building or something." Tonya Boatman watches Shayla and Chanel for other summertime risks. "First of all I put them in cool clothes, so it wouldn't be too sticky for 'em and it would be cool for the breeze, hopefully we'd have a breeze [laughs]." She's also sure to keep their delicate skin coated with sunscreen, with a protection factor of at least 30. "Waterproof, sweat proof to help prevent from the sun damage. And then hats; My oldest girl has had sunburn on her ears before, and so I'm very careful now; so I get hats for 'em; and hopefully they'll leave 'em on the whole time! [laughs]."

Children are much more susceptible to heat-related illness than adults, so Brian and Steven suck down the water to avoid dehydration. Safe Kids experts say adding a little sports drink might encourage them to drink more. They may look hot and miserable, but at least Shayla and Chanel are safe kids.

Experts also say head injuries are common in the summer, so to be sure children wear helmets on skates, bikes, motorcycles and four-wheelers. By the way, KidsFest at Woolaroc runs through Sunday.

Woolaroc is located northeast of Barnsdall in Osage County on State Highway 123.