Dust off your grill and grab your swimsuits, because summer is almost here! And you know what that means! A time for lazy days at the pool, exciting trips, and plenty of sun and fun. But if you’re like most parents, you struggle with the balance between allowing your children the freedom to gain independence and keeping them safe and protected.
Summer Safety Tips:
#1 – Sun Safety: Sunburns aren’t just painful; they can also increase a child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Send your child to camp wearing a hat with a brim (preferably one that shades the face, ears, and neck) and apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection. Encourage your child to drink 5 to 6 glasses of water a day to protect from dehydration.
#2 – Safety Plan: Getting lost in a public area can be scary for unprepared kids – which is why it’s important to arm your child with a safety plan. First off, you’ll want to make sure your child has your phone number and address memorized. But in most generations now, children at the age of 8 have IPhones. Also make your child knows that if she/he gets lost, she/he should stay in the same area so that you can find her/him, and she/he should ask someone in a uniform or a mother with children for help.
#3 – Personal Safety: Sit down with your child and teach her/him about personal safety rules. She/He should know that there’s a difference between “good” and “bad.” Also, that it’s okay to say “no” if someone asks him to do something that makes her/him feel uncomfortable, and that no one should ever ask her/him to keep a secret from her/his parents.
#4 – Communication: One of the most important parts of keeping your child safe is making sure to keep an open line of communication at all times. Encourage your child to speak up if she/he feels uncomfortable about something, and if your child wants to talk, make the time to do so. Most importantly, try to be positive when your child does confide in you, rather than harping on what she/he did wrong that caused the situation.