John here with my latest blog thoughts.
What a happy day. I had 3 very excited kids bouncing around my kitchen this morning. It’s the last day of term and of the school year for most children today, although some lucky ones already broke up last week. A glorious 6 weeks ahead for fun and relaxation. Time to really be a kid and enjoy some quality play time. September feels like the next century away.
Without putting too much of a dampener on it all, parents and carers need to be aware of new or different risks that children face over the summer, so that they can all stay safe and still have lots of fun. Most of the risks are pretty obvious and easily addressed by responsible parents, but doing this job you do see the other side of things, after things have gone wrong. Someone coming to us with an accident compensation claim is sobering proof that things do go wrong. Accidents happen.
Winter brings snow, ice and dark evenings and the risks that they pose. Summer is different. You have to start thinking about things like open water, the sea or even paddling pools, kids out and about on their bikes and other fun activities that can go wrong if they are poorly thought through. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and are so often preventable with sensible precautions.
ROSPA report that the latest available figures show 435 accidental drownings in the last year that they have figures for and that the highest monthly figure came in June. Okay we are past June now, but the underlying message is that risks relating to water are amplified in the summer. Water is like a magnet to children. It’s great fun, but you have to respect it and take sensible precautions.
It’s not for me to preach about this, but there are loads of free and helpful resources for parents and carers to use. ROSPA themselves have a great website with terrific guides to just about every scenario you can imagine, including in relation to kids and their activities. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has specific advice about staying safe at the seaside on their website too. That’s relevant and helpful whether you are at home or abroad.
I spend my working life helping poor folk who have already had an accident trying to put their lives back together. Claiming for therapy, treatment and for injury compensation after the event is all very well, but every single one of my clients would rather have never been hurt in the first place. You can’t eliminate every risk, but sensible common sense precautions are often enough.
Have a great summer break kids (and grown ups).