Opinion

Caution: Summer ahead

From the editorial board

Denise Parfitt of Parkland lets out a loud squealing sound as she was splashed by her nephew 3-year-old Quintez Parfitt at American Lake Park in Lakewood last July.
Denise Parfitt of Parkland lets out a loud squealing sound as she was splashed by her nephew 3-year-old Quintez Parfitt at American Lake Park in Lakewood last July. News Tribune file photo, 2015

South Sounders who crave fresh air and outdoor pursuits won’t complain about this year’s spring heat wave. Not many curses were raised against the record-breaking 80-degree days of April, or even the historic scorcher of a 90-degree day last Sunday.

Seasoned Washington residents know the damp of October will be here all too soon. Or as Shakespeare said: “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

However, a few tragic incidents last weekend provide cautionary lessons in spring and summer safety.

The first drowning of the season came too early when a 51-year-old Graham man was trapped in a logjam while innertubing with friends Saturday evening on the Puyallup River. The river was running fast and cold, and the flotation gear he used was substandard.

Then on Sunday, a barbecue among family and friends near Auburn went awry when a 13-year-old Milton boy was killed while riding an all-terrain vehicle. The boy was wisely wearing a helmet. But the fact he was missing for quite a while before his body was found reinforces the importance of children – or anybody, really – using a buddy system for summer activities.

While we’re on the subject: Boaters should make sure they’re up to date on safety courses and have all necessary equipment on board your vessel. And campers and backpackers, make sure you carry the 10 essentials and pay attention to campfire advisories, which are expected to be enforced earlier than usual this year.

Pardon the nagging, but look on the bright side: You have a few blissful months before you hear warnings about using snow tires or chains on Snoqualmie Pass.

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