Summer break is in full force, and local law enforcement officers are cautioning county residents to stay safe and drive carefully in neighborhoods where children are out playing.
Officials are warning residents to be mindful and aware of young pedestrians now that the school season has ended, noting it is important for both children and motorists to be cautious of their surroundings.
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office spokesman Erinn Stone said authorities would like to remind local children to drink lots of water and look both ways before crossing streets.
With rising summer temperatures, officials caution children and other family members to:
Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
Apply sunscreen often.
Wear a helmet when riding bikes or scooters and while rollerblading.
Make sure family members know your plans for the day and who you will be with.
Seek medical attention immediately after noticing signs of a possible heat-related illness.
Stone said its important for drivers to not only be mindful of their outside surroundings, but also encourages them to be mindful of their passengers.
Small children and animals should never be left in an unattended vehicle, she said.
"With temperatures rising, if you have to take your animals with you, roll down a window and be mindful of the heat or just leave them home where they can stay cool," she said.
Also, to help prevent theft, Stone said the sheriff's office cautions residents not to leave their keys in the ignition and unattended when cooling their vehicles down before heading out.
LaTresha Woodruff, a spokesman for the Conway Police Department, also said it's important for parents to make sure their children are aware of and know the rules of the road while out walking and riding bicycles through neighborhoods.
"It's summertime, and more children will be outside. Your Conway Police Department asks motorists to be mindful of this and watch out for children at play," she said. "We encourage parents to make sure their children know the rules of the road while bike riding and that they are cautious."
Local law enforcement officers also caution residents to always wear their seat belts when traveling and not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
"We would also like to remind everyone traveling in a vehicle to always wear your seat belt and never drink and drive. Seat belt use is [the] most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes," officials said as they cautioned residents to be cautious through the summer break. "Do not drink and drive. [I]nstead, call on a designated driver to get you home safely. Not only do you risk your life when you drive impaired, you are putting the other drivers you share the roadway with at risk as well."