Summer is a wonderful time of the year for children. Their days can be carefree and filled with lots of summer fun! However, because children have so much free time in the summer, parents need to be more watchful than ever.
According to Samantha Stern, training and development director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers, “Accidents happen when children aren’t properly supervised. Parents need to keep an eye on their children at all times throughout this busy season.”
Stern says parents must always carefully supervise their children whenever they are near water, no matter how deep it is. She says that parents should make it mandatory that their children wear life jackets when boating, when they are near lakes or pools, or when they are participating in water sports. Also, parents should enroll their children in swimming lessons to teach them the importance of water safety.
“A drowning can occur within a matter of seconds,” says Stern. “And, while water activities are a lot fun for children on hot summer days, they can quickly turn very dangerous if not properly supervised.”
Stern says parents should always watch their children while they are playing either at a playground or in the back yard. She says it’s important to make sure children are playing on a soft surface such as mulch, rubber, or sand to minimize scrapes, bruises, and broken bones.
Stern also recommends that parent do not allow their children to play with ropes or long strings, plastic garbage bags, sticks, or other household items that could be inadvertently misused.
When playing sports, Stern adds to make sure that children have the correct protective gear that fits them properly and will keep them safe.
When biking, riding scooters, or rollerblading, Stern reminds parents that their children should have properly fitting helmets.
“Head injuries can be easily prevented or minimized with this one useful piece of equipment,” says Stern. “Children need to understand that helmets are mandatory when they are doing these activities.”
Stern adds that when biking, it’s also important that parents teach their children the rules of the road, so they understand the significance of traveling with traffic and using the proper hand signals for making turns.
Stern advises that parents with younger children still learning how to ride their bikes utilize sidewalks, bike trails, or less populated roadways for their bike trips.
Family Vacation Safety
When taking a family vacation, Stern says that it’s imperative that children are properly secured in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that is appropriate for their age and size. She says if parents have questions regarding whether or not their car seats are properly installed, they should go to their local fire department to have them inspected.
At your destination, Stern reminds parents to stick with their children and teach them of the danger of talking to strangers when adults are not present.
“You want summer to be the fun time of year that it’s supposed to be,” says Stern. “By using common sense and a little precaution, you can help to ensure that your children will be happy and healthy all summer long.”