Today I thought would be good to talk about safety in parks.
Whenever we visit a park, whether alone or with others, it’s always good to assess your surroundings. You could start by noticing if you feel safe there. Notice any ongoing activity that may indicate a possible problem. If the park is almost vacant, you should think about parking in the safest place possible. Let’s say you park and get ready for your jog. Your vehicle is the only one parked. After 15 minutes, you notice a vehicle coming and parking right next to your vehicle when there are so many other places to park, a bell should go off in your head…..what is this! It could be that their intentions is to look for valuables in your vehicles. You should cut your jog short and come back to your vehicle. At least come by and get a closer look and assess the situation. Of course, if you see this other person getting out of their vehicle and enjoying the park, then it may be well. It would be a different situation if the person in this vehicle would remain inside the vehicle and just plan their evil deeds. For this reason, it is best never to leave any valuables inside your vehicle.
It’s also very important to feel safe whenever you have to use the restroom facilities. Does the door lock properly? Do you feel anyone watching you in a suspicious manner?
Do you notice any loose dogs walking around? Most likely you would see their owners close by as many times this happens. But it’s good to keep an eye out especially if your have children with you. Always instruct them to be careful around dogs.
If you plan on taking your children to the playground, first assess if the equipment is safe. Go around and take a couple of minutes to examine the safety of the swings, the structures, slides etc. Most likely, everything is in good working condition, however if you should find something that is not working properly, please report to proper department. And of course, keep an eye on your children and how they use the equipment, hopefully in the manner it was designed to. Proper supervision is essential in the safety of your children.
Also look around for broken glass or sharp objects laying around. Most often, people are good at keeping the parks clean as there are quite a few trash bins available for disposal.
Whenever you start your walk or jog, be aware of who’s around you. Especially if you use headphones, you may not hear someone coming from behind you. At least, keep the volume low enough that you may still be able to react to a given situation. Of course, it’s always best to walk or jog with a partner. And it doesn’t hurt to know self defense either.
Many parks have beautiful lakes. It is always tempting for children to go near water so extreme caution should be taken whenever there is water around. Always respect signs which indicates that no swimming or fishing is allowed. Educate children concerning water safety and concerns, and definitely, children should learn how to swim.
The use of helmets whenever bicycle riding is the law although almost never seen in parks. Proper padding should be used if your children are skating. Always read and follow the rules posted at that particular park.
And of course, it’s always good to have your cell phone with you when visiting the park. Just don’t lose it while you’re at the park!
Parks are there for our enjoyment. So go out there and enjoy them!