Family First

Summer Fun in the Sun
By Sgt. Anthony Espino

It’s that time of year again. School is out and summer is in. The excitement of summer flows through the minds of many school students and teachers. I say teachers also because my wife, who is a teacher, reminds me quite often through the school year that she can’t wait for the summer.

Ten months a year spending seven hours a days, five days a week learning math, science, history, and taking exams can be a taxing and demanding schedule for a child. Therefore, many school students annually welcome the anticipation of summer.

What does this time of year mean for students? For some, it is their final year of high school and they’re busy preparing for their first year of college. For others, it’s just another school year gone by with the excitement of sleeping in, no homework, no teachers, and playing outside with their friends. The wonderment of youth is reborn in the bright and sunny days. Riding bikes, going to the park, and swimming at their local town pools, or going to the beach with their family and friends are some of the common activities many of these kids will be enduring this summer.

Though summer seems like a time to have fun and enjoy the warm weather, and for the most part it is, it’s also important to remind our children to be safe and careful when they’re outside enjoying these activities. We must remind them of the importance of wearing a helmet when riding bicycles or skateboarding, and to avoid riding on roadways with active traffic flow. Swimming at the town pool or at the beach is a fun activity, but also can be a dangerous one. We must remind our children not to dive into pools that are less than six feet deep. Diving in shallow water is one of the most common of pool-related accidents. When at the beach, children must be reminded of the strong water currents in the ocean and how to avoid being pulled out to sea by teaching them to swim sideways with the current, not against it. When outside playing in the hot sun, staying hydrated is essential and applying sunscreen to avoid sunburn and harmful exposure to powerful sunrays.

These are just some of the safety tips to remind children so they can safely enjoy the summer break. Also, remember summer is a time when families get to spend quality time together–whether going on a vacation together or just sitting outside enjoying a nice barbecue or cooking smores by the fire pit. Make sure you make time to share these moments and create lasting memories.
Throughout most of the year life can be hectic. Parents work many hours a day, children are busy with their schoolwork, and there are always the after school activities. For many families this can take a toll on their bonding time with their children. This is why making the time for family during the summer is very important.

As I have mentioned in past articles, building a strong family foundation and bond will help develop our children to be kind, confident, respectful, and caring individuals. Being a parent myself to three daughters can, at times, be a task to juggle their schooling, sports, and after school activities. Compounded with a shift work schedule that has me working all crazy hours, making time can be challenging, but with the help and support of my wife we are able to juggle our family life all the while stressing to our children the importance of family values. We have no greater responsibility than the safety, security, and harmonious upbringing of our children.

So savor the nice weather, longer days, and the opportunity to enjoy family time that is often lost during the fall and winter months. Clear out busy schedules and make time to reflect on what’s important in life. Enjoy activities with the one’s that mean the most to you. Take advantage of this upcoming season with an open heart and open mind. Create memories, bond, laugh, and just enjoy the summer! Have a safe and happy summer.

Sgt. Anthony Espino is a 18-year veteran police officer, assigned to the Patrol and Crime Prevention Unit. His passion is to lecture to community members, teachers, and students to promote awareness and offer tips to prevent crime and victimization.