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Critical Days of Summer: Safety tips for summer vacation

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children attending Crestview Elementary, Manzanita Public Charter School and Vandenberg Middle School begin summer vacation June 3. Drivers should be more aware during summer months to avoid children at play in Vandenberg neighborhoods.   (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley Reed)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children attending Crestview Elementary, Manzanita Public Charter School and Vandenberg Middle School begin summer vacation June 3. Drivers should be more aware during summer months to avoid children at play in Vandenberg neighborhoods. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley Reed)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children attending Crestview Elementary, Manzanita Public Charter School and Vandenberg Middle School begin summer vacation June 3.

Although it can be an exciting time for children when the school bells ring for summer vacation, the use of some cautionary tips could help prevent serious accidents.

Drivers should be more aware during summer months to avoid children at play in Vandenberg neighborhoods.

"Watch at crosswalks and be aware of wildlife, it's going to be warmer this summer," said Dr. Ken Falk, Crestview Elementary School principal.

Summer Vacation might mean fun in the sun for children, but motorists should be exercising risk management practices during the Critical Days of Summer, which lasts until Sept. 6.

Recent studies have shown that more than one-third of motorists in school zones or neighborhoods roll through intersections, even when there is a stop sign. When school is out, that increases the potential for a child getting hit or run over by a vehicle, said Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson, a 30th Space Wing ground safety specialist.

"Survey the area around your vehicle before attempting to back up, children can move unpredictably," said Sergeant Ferguson. "Motorists are urged to check their mirrors while backing up. Remember to take it slow through residential areas and give yourself some extra time for your commute."

Taking some precautionary measures this summer could make a difference for all Vandenberg area families.