Have fun, stay safe

  • Published
  • By Maj. Allen Specht
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Plans and Programs
As we approach the beginning of the Critical Days of Summer, have you given any thought as to how you might have a blast all summer long, yet emerge unscathed in early September? What will you do to make sure you and your friends maximize your fun while staying safe? There are countless fun things to do during the awesome Washington summertime, from water skiing to biking to climbing Mount Rainier. Then there are more tame pastimes like fishing and grilling. Yet they all have the common theme that someone always manages to hurt themselves or someone else because they did something that could have been prevented. The good news is that most of these issues are entirely preventable if you just give a little forethought into what you're going to do. Assess what can go wrong for each activity and ask yourself how capable you are to handle a problem.

Hardly a night goes by when I don't see some bungled trick or unexpected accident on television. Sometimes the actions are truly boneheaded stunts like jumping a car on a motorcycle, but usually the "funny" things I see are the result of folks just not thinking through their plan. The latest video I saw was a shoeless teenager with no helmet riding down a hill on a skateboard. Halfway down she lost her balance, caught both sets of toes on the pavement, then face-planted in the road. Was falling inevitable? Maybe. But at least she could have worn shoes, a helmet and wrist guards. She might have still been injured but the damage would have been far less severe.

Admittedly, you probably can't foresee every possible thing that can go wrong, but you can certainly review whether you're trained, conditioned and equipped properly. You can also inspect equipment and the overall plan for your activities. Then, consider whether there's a better time or place to perform your activity. Lastly, always keep in mind that if the "fun" you're about to have might get you on the news or on YouTube, you probably ought to reconsider what you're planning.