Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

January 6, 2013

VASICEK: School and pool safety, according to Elmer and Ed

Driving, swimming most dangerous activities for children

I was minding my own business, loading a bag of ice melt into my trunk. All of a sudden I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard a voice I preferred not to hear.

“Ed, long time no see,” beamed Elmer, his gold tooth sparkling.

“Oh, hi, Elmer, how are you?” I asked, trying to muster sincerity. “I haven’t seen you for ages.”

“Well, I just got back from a trip out West,” Elmer explained, “to see my daughter and her family. Drove all the way. What a long ride!”

I sought to be upbeat: “But I am sure you had a good time; you must have enjoyed the leisurely trip.”

“Leisurely my foot!” Elmer complained, “I hate long rides, but I won’t get into those death-trap planes. I used to fly – I don’t have one of those phobias. But with all the plane crashes, no thanks.”

“Funny you should mention that. I was just reading this article today,” I replied as I unfolded the article from The Good News Network:

“‘2012 will go into the record books as the safest year ever for airline travelers worldwide. 3 billion passengers flew in 2012 on more than 93,000 commercial flights … yet not a single fatality was recorded in the United States in more than four years.’”

“Well, maybe it was a good year,” added Elmer, “but bad ones are waiting.”

I replied in exasperation, “Thousands and thousands of people were killed on the road during that same time. Driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do, not flying.”

Elmer changed the subject, “Well, I’m not going to argue with you. But I worry about my grandkids in school. All them school bus rides and them crazy gunmen out there with their machine guns. The most dangerous place for them kids right now is in school or on their way.”

“Now Elmer, you ought to be concerned about your grandkids. But you need to get perspective. All of us – including our kids – have always been in danger. School is one of the safest places for them. Actually, the two most dangerous places for them are in your car or near a swimming pool.”

“Ed, all that coffee has pickled your brain,” Elmer criticized. “You have the mind of a 4-year-old child, and he was glad to get rid of it! Nothing you said is true!”

“Well, let me dig up those clippings I have in the back seat of my car,” I requested. I smelled my way to them; they were buried under last week’s forgotten lunch. “Ah, here they are. This first one is about car accidents from CNN.”

“‘… [T]raveling by school bus is seven times safer than traveling by car or truck … more than 30,000 people are killed in traffic crashes every year, six school-age children die as passengers in school buses annually.’”

“The second one comes from the Center for Disease Control,” I continued. “‘From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings … in the United States — about ten deaths per day …

“‘About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.’”

“Wow!” Elmer gasped. “You got me today, Ed. But you know, it seems like the whole country is walking on pins and needles after the Connecticut shootings.”

“Who can blame them?” I affirmed, “About 500 kids and teens die from shootings each year, mostly accidental ones – not massacres. Sadly, more than 1.7 million kids live in homes with unlocked and loaded guns.”

“That’s nuts,” Elmer added. “I have several guns, but I always keep them unloaded and locked – even though I don’t have any kids around. Still, it sounds like pool safety might be an even bigger issue.”

“Elmer,” I responded, “it has been a pleasure to talk to you.”

“What happened?” Elmer chided. “I guess these are changing times.”

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller