As mid summer has arrived and the days begin to shorten again, it’s just time to comment about other ways for LPA members and guests to stay safe. Our last post concerned safety on the water. On that note, the restrictions on towing and wakesurfing will go into effect on Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5. Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m, no towing of skiers, wakeboards, tubes, other devices and no wake surfing will be allowed in the Narrows area which is the passage between the upper basin and the main lake just upstream from Sunset Beach.

Other Safety Issues

Beware of Electrical Dangers! Members with electric-powered boat lifts, lights or outlets on docks should have an electrician check the wiring for safety. DO NOT USE EXTENSION CORDS to power electrical devices on docks. All wiring should be in properly installed conduit, not out in the open. Why?  An electrical short can paralyze swimmers near the docks and cause drowning. Shocks can also be received by improperly insulated or exposed wiring that could cause stunned falls and injury. Licensed electricians should be the ones checking and upgrading your electricity near the water.

Fireworks– It is illegal to have fireworks displays without a Guthrie County permit issued by the Guthrie County Supervisors. A display should have safety equipment on hand and prohibit inexperienced handlers and children from the launch area. Fireworks are not only dangerous to oneself, but to anyone within range of the launching and explosions.

Golf Carts–Only licensed driver’s are legal golf cart drivers on LPA roads. Yes, it’s tempting to have kids drive while Grandpa sits along side, but this is not legal here. Similar situations have resulted in serious close-calls with young drivers panicking and almost causing crashes. The curves, hills, and numerous driveways offer lots of risky encounters for inexperienced drivers.

Four-Wheelers–LPA rules permit 4-wheelers or ATV’s on LPA roads, but only when driven by licensed drivers and only while doing maintenance activities such as hauling brush or leaves. Four-wheel ATV’s can be driven on one’s own lot for recreation as long as noise concerns don’t bother the neighbors. Operation on LPA property or non-owned property is prohibited.

Walking on the Street–There are no formal walking paths on the east side of the lake, although there are some woodland trails that are found north of the Panorama West Golf Course. If you must walk on the street, walk on the left, facing traffic. We don’t recommend walking on the streets after dark since there are no street lights in the community.

Please prohibit children from riding bikes, battery operated vehicles, or operating radio controlled cars on LPA streets. Many guests are unfamiliar with the streets and will not be looking for children. The Raccoon River Bike Trail is only a few hundred feet east of State Highway 4 and is a great place for kids to bike with their parents or older siblings and friends.

Mowing–Lots of steep lots–Be sure to only use mowers with roll-over protection and wear your seat belt while operating on steep yards. Better yet, leave it to professional lawn maintenance people. Be especially careful when dew is on the grass as it may be difficult to stop on steep, wet slopes.

Visibility–Plants grow fast in the early summer and can obscure visibility by driveways. Please trim them back so you have plenty of sight distance as you leave your property. Curves and hills often obscure your presence as well. Take time to be safe.

Food Safety–Another item often neglected is outdoor food safety. Warm temperatures can cause bacteria growth in picnic fare, lunches on the boat or even in the home. Use recommended techniques to keep food properly hot or properly cool.

Ticks and Mosquitoes–These common pests aren’t always a danger but there is risk of disease transmitted by these critters. Wear long-sleeved clothing in the evenings, use recommended repellents (at recommended rates), or other measures to ward off biting insects and ticks.

Poison Ivy is always a threat to some individuals who are susceptible to it’s ability to cause serious rashes, burning and itching. Check out the internet to identify this three leaved, irregularly notched leaves and growing character that can be seen as a bush, a vine on trees, or even as a ground cover. Another plant, wild parsnip, has flat headed clusters of yellowish flowers and a “celery” like stalks and leaves. While exposure to the plant sap of the wild parsnip does not immediately cause issues, the sap, when exposed to sunlight on the skin, will cause nasty, water filled blisters and scarring that may last several years. If you are exposed, get it washed off immediately and avoid the consequences.

Sunburn–A doubly dangerous situation arises with sunlight and sunlight reflected off the water. Use sunscreen to protect and to avoid dangerous burns.

Water contamination–A reality is that heavy rains bring high levels of coliform bacteria into reservoirs and lakes all over the Midwest. To avoid potential harm, never ingest lake water, always bathe after water contact recreation and especially prior to eating, and don’t go into contaminated waters if you have unhealed wounds or a pre-existing condition causing low immunity. Babies and the elderly are more vulnerable to disease causing organisms in the water. Although instances are very rare, it pays to be cautious. The LPA website will have information about bacteria tests taken every week through the summer season. Look for signs posted at each LPA swimming beach.

Stay hydrated! In the heat of summer, even in the water, many can lose water through perspiration and activity. It’s wise to drink plenty of liquids and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages when on the water in the heat. Many sport drinks are an easy way to stay hydrated and avoid potential overheating, fatigue, and disorientation.

Have fun, but be careful!  This whole list may sound worse than it is, but it just means that there are things to look out for that may help you have a much more enjoyable summer.We want you to be able to enjoy your time at this beautiful place and remember it fondly when, and if, you are headed back to your permanent home. Most accidents are preventable.