Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lightning Strikes, or "Touchdown!"

Anyone who has spent time at all with young children knows that the little ones are new to this world and are quite in awe of everything around them. However, they don’t understand how things work, so they are also easily frightened, especially by something as loud and overpowering as thunder and flashes of lightning.

When my children were young and I knew a thunderstorm was approaching, I would have them stand up on the couch and face the back so they could look out of the window. We would then watch as the dark storm clouds gathered.

In order to keep them from getting scared during the storm, I would have them look for the bolts of lightning. They quickly learned that when one touched the ground, they could yell out, “Touchdown!” I also taught them thunder was the sound of the streaks, and this seemed to satisfy their questions about the noise.

This activity kept them occupied and allowed them to focus on the fun they were having instead of something that could have scared them.

Some lightning facts I’ve learned over the years include:
• never stand under a tree if lightning is in the area because it’s attracted to tall things;
• never touch anything metal, such as a pole, if lightning is around because if the lightning strikes the object, the power will travel from the metal object through your body and burn and/or electrocute you;
• if you’re caught out in an open space, such as a meadow, parking lot or golf course when a storm comes up and can’t get into a building, you should squat down as close to the ground as possible and wait for the storm to pass;
• stay inside a building or car during a storm;
• never go into the water and get out of the water if lightning is in the area;
• don’t shower or bathe during a storm because if lightning hits the house, it can travel along any metal pipes found inside;
• lightning-proof your home by having lightning rods installed, either the kind that are placed on top of the roof or ones that are installed inside electric breaker boxes.

So, what do you know about lightning?


No comments: