Most of the schools in my region have completed the school year, and students, parents, & teachers have begun celebrating. Itineraries and packing lists are being finalized, and everyone is ready for some summer fun in the sun. Kids are not concerned with anything other than fun, friends, vacation, snacks, and the fact that SCHOOL IS OUT (woo hoo!). Nothing else really matters to them. The boring adults? Well, we have to enforce the safety rules. The following are reminders for staying safe this summer.
- Water: Many households allow sweetened sports drinks, and sodas to dominate their kids’ consumption. I am not here to judge you; however, I would encourage you to consider the importance of hydration during extreme heat. Sports drinks and sodas may appeal to taste buds, and cool you down, but they will not keep your kiddos hydrated. If outdoor playdates or sports camps are on the agenda, try freezing water bottlers the night before. Use the icy cold water as a refresher throughout the morning.
- Buddy System: The sad truth is that we do not live in the eras of the Walton’s & Huxtable’s. We cannot turn blind eyes, and deaf ears, when our children walk out to play. I prefer to escort Superkiddo to playdates (usually because they require that I drive), but some parents are comfortable with allowing kids to roam the neighborhood. I would like to suggest a system that even Superkiddo’s school uses throughout the year: if you have to walk away from the group, you have to take a person with you. Definitely continue the conversations about stranger danger, and appropriate interactions with others, but do not allow kids to wander around alone.
- Pool Rules: Many subdivisions have swimming pools, but no lifeguards. Even if your kid is a competitive swimmer, he or she should not ever enter the pool unsupervised. Remind your eager swimmers of pool safety. Remember to have access to safety equipment, as well as a phone to call first responders. If you need a refresher course on home pool essentials, there are many local and online courses available. This one is one of my favorites.
- Food Temperatures: Most kids aren’t concerned with the safety of their food. They may take a few bites of a sandwich, leave it, and continue to play. If possible, keep perishable food inside, and refrigerated. If the plan of the day includes extended periods outside, consider providing a cooler.
- Sunscreen: They need it, but most kids fight it. Make a rule: spray it on before walking outside. Just do it.
There are many other ways to keep our children safe; however, these quick reminders can be helpful in providing discussion points with our eager to get outside kiddos.
I wish you, & your favorite people, a wonderful day in the sun.
Until next time,