Click the link below for the weekly family rail, with pool-safety tips, a review of “The Avengers” and more. Or check out these other links.

Tip of the Week


Swimming is the most popular summer activity, and if you have a pool or spa, your backyard just may be this summer's most popular retreat for friends, neighbors and all the children that come with them. Adding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to ensure a safer and fun experience this summer.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents' sight for less than five minutes. The good news: Drowning can be prevented. Barriers help buy those few minutes needed to re-establish direct contact when it has been briefly lost. It's vital to have layers of protection in place between your home and pool to buy the time to re-establish contact after a momentary distraction, such as answering the phone or door, texting or other routine activities.


Numerous studies have shown that an isolation fence that separates the home from the pool can prevent 50 to 90 percent of all toddler drownings. Only an isolation fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate in proper working order will prevent children from getting into the water without your knowledge. For above-ground pools, a fence and gate surrounding the steps or ladder can prevent toddler access.


Additional tips to stay pool-safe this summer:


- Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.


- If a child is missing, look for them first in the pool or spa.


- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.


- The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (www.NDPA.org) recommends that a "water watcher" be designated for safety when children are in the pool, to maintain eye-to-eye contact at all times.


- Toys or floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys should never be left in the pool area.


- Be aware of anything a child could use to climb up on and over a pool fence.


- Keep rescue equipment, like a shepherd's hook, near the pool.


- If your child is invited to a friend's pool, don't expect the other parent to be as cautious as you may be. Offer to go with them to be another set of eyes on the pool.


- Brush up on your own swimming skills. You never know when you may have to rescue someone who is drowning, so make sure you know the proper way to help without harming yourself.


- Learn CPR. You can be the one to administer CPR to someone in need while waiting on an ambulance to arrive. You can sign up for CPR classes at The Red Cross or your local YMCA. It's a lifesaving skill you'll be glad to have.


- ARA


Family Movie Night


“The Avengers”


Rated: PG-13


Length: 142 minutes


Synopsis: Nick Fury brings together a team of superheroes – including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk – to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.


Violence/scary rating: 4


Sexual-content rating: 2


Profanity rating: 2


Drugs/alcohol rating: 1.5


Family Time rating: 3. Other than the usual superhero violence, this isn’t as a bad movie for families of teens.


(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)


Book Report


“The Queen of Kentucky,” by Alecia Whitaker


Ages: Young adult


Pages: 375


Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would preferred to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small-town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo." Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular. - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Did You Know


According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, children are most likely to begin abusing prescription painkillers at age 16.


GateHouse News Service