The summer is a great time to plan some fun family activities.
But of course, as always when kids are involved, planning an event for a whole family is a completely different thing from those spontaneous summer break adventures you might have taken in high school and college.
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a stroll down the street to the local ice cream stand or heading off for a three-week trip to Disneyland. It’s always smart to think ahead and make sure that your family is safe and sound as you set out in search of some summer fun with them. With that said, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind throughout your family adventures this summer:
When you have younger kids, sometimes it’s easy to keep things simple and plan some fun right out of the comfort of your own home. But even if you’re having a staycation or a family game night, it’s still worth taking some precautions. Even the most well-laid-out home can still have some dangerous surprises lurking around each corner.
In addition to the conventional wisdom of kid-proofing things like outlets and sharp corners, make sure that you’re:
- Anchoring your television, bookshelves, and other precarious objects properly.
- Using child safety locks that are built into appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.
- Keeping living spaces cleared of things like cleaning chemicals or even houseplants that are toxic.
As an additional suggestion, if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, make sure that your home and even your community are prepared for any unsavory weather as well. There’s nothing quite like having a fun time ruined by extreme weather.
The great part is, you can prepare as part of your family’s adventures. For example, take time as a family to plan out where you’ll gather in the event of a disaster and how you can evacuate your neighborhood. Make sure that everyone is familiar with emergency phone numbers.
Of course, there are many other things to do outside of your home in the summer as well. You can go on a family bike ride, plan a trip to the beach, go to the zoo, or head to a local park, an excellent inexpensive way to spend the day. Whatever you decide to do, though, it’s good to remember a few important safety precautions.
If you decide to bike with younger children, remember that you’ll be sharing the road with bigger, faster vehicles. It’s important that you have a clear understanding of how to react in the event of an accident. Always wear helmets, and bring your cell phone just in case you need to seek medical attention.
For anything with water involved — whether it’s the Atlantic Ocean or a pond at the park — make sure you’re children are prepared. While swimming lessons are obviously ideal, you can also equip them with floaties, teach them ahead of time about safety around bodies of water, and explain swimming hazards like undertow and waves. Also, make sure that you or a lifeguard are nearby whenever you plan on letting your kids go in for a dip.
Even if water isn’t involved, though, it’s important to go in prepared. Remember things like sunscreen and proper hydration. Dress in clothing that is easily distinguishable, too. This is important for both kids and parents alike, as you want to be able to find each other in a crowd.
Hitting the Open Road
If you’re feeling ambitious, you may find yourself strapping the kids in for a longer trip. Road trips to see family or to visit more unique, far-off locations can be a great way to stoke up some summer fun. Once again, though, you’re going to want to plan ahead and be prepared, especially if you’re going to be far from home.
Make sure to bring a first-aid kit in the car with things like bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, and cold compresses. You can find the Red Cross’ official recommendation for a good first aid kit here. You may even want to consider having a second, smaller kit on your person at all times as you travel.
Also, make sure that you’re children are comfortable with how to react if they become separated from you while away from home. Teach them important personal information beforehand — things like your name and number. Explain to them who they can approach for help if they get lost and how to identify suspicious individuals.
Finally, note that if you or your loved one is pregnant, you’ll want to be careful when planning your outings. Some actions, like drinking alcohol or taking certain medications, are obvious no-nos. However, you’ll also want to avoid physical activities that carry a risk of falling, any contact sports, and any high-impact activities. This will help ensure that your pregnancy is as healthy as possible.
Staying Safe This Summer
There are many different things to consider when it comes to summer safety. Whether you’re driving off into the horizon or cozying up with some staycation comforts, make sure to take the time to consider your children’s safety. Remember, you’re likely to lower your guard as you rest and relax, and that’s a good thing! But it makes it that much more important to be prepared beforehand so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Sam Bowman writes about families, wellness, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
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