The carefree days of summer can still bring a lot of worry, especially to moms, dads and caregivers. How do you let your children roam, experience and enjoy the longer days while still keeping them safe and out of (dangerous) trouble?
We've love these tips to help keep your kids safe and your mind worry-free this summer.
(Image courtesy of Eagle Vail, CO)
1. Teach your kids to swim! With the (very) hot summer days, especially in our area, pools, lakes and oceans are well-loved activities. To ensure that your little ones will not get into trouble while splashing in the water, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages swim lessons for children over 4. Even some kids ages 1-4 are ready for basic swim lessons, even if it's just to get them comfortable with the water. Start by attending parent-child classes if your kids are under the age of 4. No matter what though, all kids should be able to swim by the age of 8.
2. Make sure all children that are not yet swimmers, or are not yet comfortable swimmers have "Coast Guard Approved" life jackets. If the pool or beach is especially busy, it's always a good idea to have a jacket for more experienced swimmers as well.
3. Trips to the public playground and neighbors own units is a poplar summer activity. Make sure structures are secured to the ground, and are on a clear level surface. Survey the playground area and remove any tripping hazards such as pine cones, rocks, branches, shoes etc.
(Image courtesy of Design Mom)
4. While at the playground or jungle gym, make sure you kids are watched closely, and that they are playing on equipment designed for their age level and ability. Don't forget to remove any clothing that involved draw strings. They can get caught and cause strangulation.
5. Around your home, make sure you install window guards on all windows above the main level. Make sure you can open them in case of emergency!
6. This probably goes without saying, but don't leave your children unattended around campfires, grills or fireworks. Curious minds can easily get into trouble!
(Image courtesy of The YMCA)
7. Bike riding is probably on most kids "top 10" list. Make sure all kids 1 and older have a properly fitted helmet- even if they are riding along with mom and dad. It's not a bad idea for parents to wear the helmets too...actions speak louder than words!
8. When sending your kids to friends houses for play-dates, make sure you know who will be home to supervise. Will the parents or caregivers be there the entire time, or will they duck out and leave the supervision to teenage children that may get lost in their own activities? It's always easier to back out of a situation before you get there, than while you're standing at the door dropping them off.
9. If you're taking the kids to a busy park or vacation destination (such as Disney Land), make sure each child has something to identify themselves. Bracelets, necklaces or patches sewn inside clothing are all great options. Make sure it states their name, home address and numbers that parents or guardians can be reached at. It's a good idea to include any allergies or medical conditions. You don't want it to happen, but you never know how long they could end up with out you.
(Image courtesy of A Sprinkle of This)
10. If you hire a sitter during the summer, check their credentials and background carefully. Don't forget to set ground rules early on, like where they can and cannot take your children, acceptable modes of transportation (do you want them driving your kids?), and house rules (regarding play-dates and the sitters friends that may want to visit).
Let us know what we missed! We hope you all enjoy and fun and safe summer vacation.
- The Girls at Itty Bitty Bella