Making Summer Safe for Your Children
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Soon your children will be out of school. Summer will bring a family vacation. The months will be fill with your children enjoying outdoor activities.
As a parent, you also know the summer brings additional security and safety concerns. After all, the children will not be under the supervision of school systems for the majority of their day. Many children will be home alone during the summer. How can you make the home a safer place for them? Summer brings sun and heat. How can you protect your children with their outdoor activities? Each year, emergency departments treat over 200,000 playground injuries for ages 14 and under. How can you make these summer activities safer for your children?
As we start the summer season, I will devote my next several posts to summer safety tips for your children. These will help give you greater peace of mind and a safer summer season for your children.
Family Discussion on Summer Expectations
One tip many families have found useful is to have a family discussion about summer safety expectations. Each family has a different family situation. It’s important to establish boundaries and expectations with your children about their summer months.
Start by having a discussion as parents about your children’s summer rules and expectations. Then have a family discussion with your children about your expectations, the rules and the children’s boundaries. Get their input about your expectations. When they take ownership of the expectations, they become more responsible for them.
You will need to have regular reminders about the rules and expectations. There is a reason for the popular saying, “In one ear and out the other.” Children are not long-term thinkers. They need frequent reminders. This is how they learn.
Some parents use posted notes or a white board to remind children of the rules and expectations. Others have found that it is a good idea to review the week’s activities and expectations at the start of each week.
If mistakes are made, there will be mistakes, make these a teachable moment. Review the situation and what could have been done differently. We all learn from our mistakes. Children are no different.
Summer safety and security for your children presents its own set of challenges. It’s a more unstructured season. Help your children remain safe during the summer so they create the wonderful summer memories are so important to growing older. Watch for more specific summer safety tips for your children in the next blog post.
*Picture from the CDC*