Summer took so long to get here for us, and now it’s so wonderfully underway. The kids have had their great big birthday party, and their birthdays. My birthday is only five days away (gulp). The kids have completed two weeks of summer camp and we have two more overnight trips on the books for us, and not to mention countless mini road trips that are on my agenda. Summer seems to go by so fast as an adult, and most definitely as the parent of at least one school-age parent, that I can’t help but sigh and wonder at the fullness of our days. From waking up to the camp morning rush and making sure to sunscreen the kids before we go out the door, to catching fireflies at night (“for just five more minutes, Mama”) and letting the kids stay at the playground until just after dusk has fallen, summer safety has been on my mind more than ever. It needs to be.
After wrangling a potty-training three-year-old and a newly-beach-confident six-year-old, I found that my iPhone and my beloved library book (“All the Light We Cannot See”) were mostly abandoned during our vacation. Even with other adults around, our eyes were always on the prize – the safety and happiness of the kids. I’m teaming up with Aflac today, to give some summer vacation readiness tips. Aflac is a Fortune 500 company that provides individual and group voluntary insurance products that help deliver protection to more than 50 million people worldwide, and has done so for six decades now!
And safety readiness starts.. in the car:
– This may seem obvious but I’m amazed at how often I see people not in seatbelts. Always wear your seltbelts! There is no reason EVER not to wear it, even for short distances. Scarlet would LOVE to roam free in the car, but it’s never happened.
– Make sure your child is in the right car seat for them, and that you’re not switching to a booster too soon. My kids have summer birthdays so we are able to do weight checks in the summer, and ask the doctor questions about proper car seats.
– Put blankets or towels OVER the seatbelt, and not under it, to ensure kids are fitting properly in their car seats. It can be tempting after a day at the beach to have them sit on a towel or blanket. Bring dry clothes to change them in instead.
– Never, ever leave your kids in the car when it’s warm or hot out. Even a few minutes in a hot car can turn dangerous fast.
Safety readiness on land:
– Use appropriate gear and equipment for sports and games. Some equipment may look optional, but it’s not! It’s important to wear all necessary pads, helmets and safety gear each time your kids play a physical sport or use a bicycle, scooter, etc.
– Prep is important. Make sure your kids are adequately prepared with warmups and training sessions before outdoor sports and games, or after summer vacation activities. This will reduce the chances of an injury.
– Teach your kids to listen to their bodies. If at any point they feel pain or discomfort while playing or swimming, they should notify an adult.
– Unless you have older kids, take turns with another parent keeping an eye out on the kids when they are playing outside.
– Remind your kids to look both ways when they are crossing the street and to never run out between parked cars. Kids younger than age eight should be crossing the street with an adult or older kid.
– This is especially important where we live and vacation – daily tick checks at the end of the day! Since bugs have the ability to carry diseases, mix together essential oil blends or get a bug bracelet, bug spray or bug bracelet.
– Also depending on where you are, keep your eyes out for dangerous plants – like cacti or poison ivy – and animals.
Summer vacation readiness in the water:
– Invest in swimming lessons for your kids, as they are important in showing your kids how to swim, how to be safe, and how to have fun in water.
– Invest in the right floaties or life vests for your young children.
– Scope out the area you are visiting, and check the currents, tides, lifeguard hours, etc. of the beach. It only takes a minute to get swept away.
Lastly, summer vacation readiness tips for everywhere:
– Stay hydrated! Drinking water is important for daily life, but even more so in summer. You should be upping your water intake regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Teach your kids this.
– Protect your skin and your kids’ skin with sunscreen. You need to apply it about 20 minutes before sun exposure, and make sure to reapply often.
– Keep a first-aid kit on hand. There are always going to be cuts and scrapes. I remember cutting my foot open on a shell in the ocean when I was a kid!
– Get accident and supplemental insurance coverage. Accidents are more common than you think, and are likely to happen during summer vacation, so make sure your family is covered. That’s where my friends at Aflac come in – to help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to help you and your family get back in the summer vacation game fast.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.