Summer Safety!

“We had an incident yesterday and it wasn’t a good outcome.” The young National Park ranger told us, his delivery straightforward. No emotion, no hysteria, and no lecture. But the message was as clear as the river water.  

The ranger, binoculars in hand,  stood by the Delaware River across from the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxon, PA, scanning the horizon for boaters, checking for the presence of life jackets.   Those not wearing them, he asked to “hold them up” for him to see.  Many keep them in their boats.

There are rules about life jackets on the Delaware.  Under 13: required. And since 2009, when the water rises to 6 feet, everyone must wear one.  Get caught breaking the rule? $50 fine. For the 71-year-old Long Island man May 29th, the consequences were far greater. And he wasn’t wearing a life jacket, according to his wife and a friend. The National Park Service has divers searching for his body.

One has to question the judgment. Rivers have currents; shallow water can become deep within minutes. Life jackets save lives.

As do bike helmets. I had an accident two months ago. Coming off a straight road into an “S” curve, I must have been distracted and lost control. Bike and I went over a guardrail. I slid down the embankment on my back. A grove of trees and shrubs stopped my descent into the same Delaware River, albeit many miles south, across from Frenchtown, NJ.  I remember laying there thinking how comfortable my helmet felt. Luckily, I was okay- a broken bone in my right hand- but it could have been much worse. Helmets save lives, too.   

I cringe when I see cyclists without helmets, particularly children.

I could go on: seatbelts, car seats, designating a driver. Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them. Guess again.

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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4 Responses to Summer Safety!

  1. Nathan says:

    Me too! I’m not paranoid, I’m a realist. The world is a very dangerous place. That’s why I haven’t left my apartment for 2 weeks straight since Uri was born (almost).

    Like

  2. lisa lai ye says:

    HI, Lisa , thanks for the advices.. I was just wondering about you as Nancy, Admanda’s Mom just told me last week that you got injured from your bike..hope you are recovering well? I did fly to CA to see the boys NCAA tournament last week..enjoyed every moment of it …20 years ago when Kevin was just a few months old, on a rainy day afternoon, my car turned 360 degree circle a few times on the highway before I had to drive off the highway and ended up hitting into whole bunches of trees and bushes…loud sound, smoke into the air …. like shooting a movie… Thank Godness, I had the seat belt on !!! yes, all safety devices are designed for reasons and everyone should put them on !!

    Like

  3. Lisa, Glad you got to see the boys play. They did well.
    Your accident sounds scary. But some claim they survived because they weren’t wearing seatbelts.

    Like

  4. Madeline Taylor says:

    I have a neighbor, my age; he already survived a heart attack 5 years ago when he was in his early 40’s. You’d think this would serve the lesson learned that life is short. Yet everyday he throws caution to the wind when he rides his bike helmet-less alongside his also helmet-less children. I live in a quaint tree-lined neighborhood of cutesy curvey streets and houses built in 1938. Despite, the millions of “Watch out for children” signs the masses still zoom through at top speed. There’s no place like home but there’s no point in killing yourself in the process of getting there. You can chose: honk if you love Jesus or text while driving if you want to meet him in person.

    Like

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