Summertime in Kentucky is special. The trees bloom, school is out, and everyone goes outside for some fun. And few states have as much to offer as Kentucky when the weather turns warm. With mountains, streams, lakes, rivers, caves, trails and, of course, horses, Kentucky can, and does, host nearly every type of outdoor activity. In addition to the more formal activities, there is always neighborhood fun. The average Kentuckian is no stranger to cookouts, fishing, skiing and boating, sports, and for both the kids and adults, bike riding and off-roading, whether with bikes or ATVs. Tripadvisor, the travel website that reviews travel-related content, lists and rates several popular attractions in the Bluegrass State, both for natives and tourists.
Expert OpinionBilly Johnson, owner of The Johnson Law Firm, a firm which handles personal injury law in Southeastern Kentucky, grew up in Pikeville, and after attending law school in Louisville, came back. “Pikeville was a fantastic place to grow up,” he said. “There was simply so much to do. Swimming, fishing, riding bikes around with my friends – sometimes we’d hike through trails in the mountains just to see what was back there,” he said. “I love it around here, especially in the summer. It’s one reason I decided to come back to start my firm when I finished school. It’s so beautiful, and even for adults in the summer there are still so many activities – I spend a lot of time outdoors. Boating, fishing, a lot of my friends hunt. I’ve travelled a bit, and I can say there’s really no place like it.”
Be SafeHowever, Johnson is one of the first to agree, when done improperly any activity, no matter how safe it seems, can be dangerous. Because of this, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHS) has compiled a list of safety tips to help keep residents safe. Some of the tips include:
- Fireworks – Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope, Jr. suggests instead of setting fireworks off yourself, go to a community event. “Home fireworks carry substantial risks for little reward,” Swope said. “Every year thousands of people end up in U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks.”
- Water Safety – KCHS states that each summer, drownings increase 89 percent from the winter months and, during the period of 2002 to 2007, 92 children (from infants to 18-years-old) drowned in Kentucky. To stay safe, they suggest to have adult supervision for children, avoid alcohol, don’t swim in dangerous places or overestimate your abilities, when possible swim where lifeguards are present and swim with a buddy.
- Sun Safety – This is especially dangerous for children. Overheating and sun poisoning can be killers. Repeated exposure can put you at risk of skin cancer. To avoid this, always pay attention to your body – drink fluids, stay in the shade, and go inside if you become too hot or receive a sunburn.
- Boating Safety – With the number of rivers and lakes in Kentucky, boating is one of the most popular activities. But whether fishing or simply floating around, you must be responsible. Avoid alcohol, know and respect the rules for your environment, wear approved life preservers and have a radio handy.