The Yomiuri ShimbunMost schools have broken up for the summer. Adults who are around children should keep an eye on them so children can spend this precious time with a sense of security.
During the summer holidays, when children will have more free time than usual, there will be more occasions for them to possibly get involved in trouble. The government has designated the month of July as the “national month for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and harm to juveniles.” Its top priority for this year is the “prevention of sexual harm to children through use of the internet.”
An unceasing number of female students are sexually molested by adults they became acquainted with via social media. There have also been cases in which girls who were solicited through social media by perpetrators who asked if they wanted to work part-time as models, ended up having indecent videos taken of them.
About 1,800 boys and girls under 18 became victims of crime last year as a result of their use of social media. Firm promises should once again be made among families that children will not meet casually with people they became acquainted with through the internet, and that they will not post private information on social media.
During summer holidays, children tend to get engrossed in online games at home. Why don’t they leave the virtual reality world and instead rack up contact with nature?
Going camping as a family or swimming in the sea or a river in a parent’s home area. Experiences like these will undoubtedly become a precious memory for children.
Outdoor activities beneficial
There are also many special events that children can easily take part in. Non-profit organizations frequently organize such events as giving children an opportunity to make a birdhouse in the forest or helping children observe living creatures at the seashore or in farming areas. At a park in central Tokyo, there is an event at which children and their parents can watch the starry sky at night.
It is known that the more outdoor activities children experience, the more considerate of themselves and their friends they tend to be. The adults around them at home and in their communities are urged to create opportunities for children to come into contact with nature.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to watch over them while they are having fun in natural settings. Particular care should be taken regarding water accidents. According to the National Police Agency, 595 people were involved in accidents in the sea or a river in July and August last year, with 117 being junior high school students or younger.
The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan this month called public attention to inflatable boats, or so-called “floats,” small crafts to be used on the water. It said children aboard such a craft in the ocean are at risk of being swiftly carried out into the open sea by a slight breeze. The adults around such children must not forget to keep their eye on them.
This summer, there has so far been a spell of cool days. Once full-blown summer starts, however, precautions will need to be taken against heatstroke. The less the body is used to summer’s heat, the more it tends to suffer heatstroke.
Every year a number of junior and senior high school students are laid low by heatstroke while practicing with their sports clubs in sweltering heat, on playing fields or inside gymnasiums. It is important for the leaders in charge of these students to make efforts to give them appropriate breaks and have them rehydrate.