The joy, the bliss, the giddy freedom and adventure of summer days. For kids, that is.
For moms and dads, not so much, maybe.
Never mind all the usual things parents and caretakers have to worry about, without the help of those extra teacher eyes on their charges.
Most parents don’t realize it, but for decades there have been other eyes watching out for the health of our children, too. I had no idea myself as I was raising my two boys. Those eyes belong to the dedicated people of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who have worked tirelessly to make sure our air is cleaner and our water is safer.
Now those protections are being jeopardized by budget cuts that will slash health protections for our families. These days, among the summer worries we face are exploding tick and mosquito populations bearing diseases that didn’t used to occur in the US. Rising temperatures mean greater danger of suffering heat stroke and a greater risk of poor air quality days. States across the country have already experienced a number of “code orange” days — those days when air pollution is so bad it’s dangerous for children with asthma to play outside. We can expect “code red” days this summer, too. Who detects and issues those code orange and red days? EPA — our own families’ silent guardian.
We can keep ourselves and our children cool, hydrated, and safe. But we can also teach them one really important life lesson this summer, too: How to be a good citizen.
While your senators and representatives are on their summer breaks, go to their town halls and tell them what you care about: Clean air. A stable climate. A safer world. When everyone’s talking about health care, point out that cutting EPA budgets means it will be easier to get sick — and harder to get well.
School may be out. But learning never stops. (Tweet this) And neither does the job of lovingly protecting our families.