Safety First

Watch children around the water

The pleasant days of June are behind us, with the hotter temperatures of July and August just ahead. With the mercury and, often, humidity high, a cool dip in the pool sounds really good.

Notice we did not write about diving into the river, a local creek or a farm pond. The risks there are much greater than in a swimming pool. Unless you are in good physical shape, have plenty of help available if needed, and observe each and every safety precaution, just stay out of natural bodies of water.

Even pools can be hazardous, especially if there are private ones with small children near — and that covers many of them. If you own a pool or live near someone who does, watch your children closely.

Even public pools with lifeguards require some prudence. Again, children need to be watched carefully, especially when large crowds are present.

We don’t mean to put a damper on your plans to cool off in the water. With just a little common sense, taking a swim can be a safe pleasure. A public pool is an excellent choice.

So get out your swimsuit or trunks, head out to the pool and practice your backstroke — carefully.


Ebola sometimes seems like a nightmare that will not go away. It is a truly horrible disease, killing about half of those who contract it.

Here in the United States, where the very few people who have contracted Ebola receive the very best of care, the illness can be less serious. But in less developed countries, it can be even more deadly.

Africa is Ebola’s home, and it breaks out frequently there. Occurrences can kill thousands before it is brought under temporary control.

When those in African nations have to do battle with Ebola, the stories of their struggles are sobering and distressing.

In Uganda, an outbreak is straining the resources of courageous health care workers. They try to isolate Ebola patients, but lack adequate facilities. They attempt to operate in sterile environments, but cannot.

An Associated Press story about the outbreak in Uganda noted that in one hospital, workers lack enough disposable gloves to keep them protected from the disease. They have to be rationed.

Imagine: Disposable gloves, much like those we Americans buy in boxes of 50 or 100 to keep paint from getting on our hands, are in short supply in an Ebola hospital. The thought is, or ought to be, staggering.

U.S. humanitarian aid often has a way of being diverted before it gets to the intended recipients in some parts of the world. Surely our government can find a way to help the heroes and heroines battling Ebola.