Summer is a wonderful time of year. The kids are out of school. Families plan vacations. Our attention turns to the outdoors.

But, hardly a summer goes by that we don't hear of someone drowning or being injured in a backyard swimming pool.

Boating accidents are far too common up and down the Ohio River.

Bicycle and motorcycle riders are injured after taking spills.

Hikers suffer injuries or get lost after they wander from marked trails.

While accidents do happen, many of the injuries can be attributed to careless behavior - swimmers and boaters without life preservers and cyclists without helmets are two of the most common lacks of judgment we've seen.

Every year, the Indiana Department of Conservation reports drownings - from swimmers being pulled under to individuals falling off boats. It's the law that all children under the age of 13 must wear an approved life jacket while aboard a boat.

We're blessed with a wealth of recreational opportunities in this area. From parks and waterways to man-made attractions there are many ways to enjoy our leisure hours. But good times can turn tragic if we get careless and take unnecessary chances.

Be aware of your surroundings, observe safety rules and teach children the importance of safety prevention.

And, have a wonderful summer.