July 10, 2013

Summer Safety Tips

As July is already here and the official start of summer has already came and went, I thought that it was time to write a post with some summer safety tips for parents. While I love summer and all of the fun activities that comes with it, as a parent, I’m now much more aware of the dangers that come with summer.

As a mother, I’m not able to attend a friends’ pool party/cookout and sit back and enjoy the conversation without  a care in the world. Instead, I’m constantly trying to manage my time between visiting with friends and checking on my kids…especially when a pool is involved. The truth is that summer brings both excitement and fear to me. I know that every year there are roughly 750 people who drown in the water, most of them kids. Of course, there are other terrible summer accidents that happen that are completely water-free. Below, I’ve compiled some summer safety tips for parents to read over.
1.      Take a CPR Class: Learning how to perform CPR is something that everyone needs to learn how to do, but especially parents. Most community colleges and vo-techs offer these classes on a regular basis for a small cost. For those with older children at home, pay for them to take the class as well. There are a lot of additional safety tips shared in these classes that anyone, regardless of age, will benefit from.

2.      Make the Kids take Swimming Lessons: In a previous post I shared with you how I watched a mother let her 7 year old son plead his way out of swimming lessons. This is something my son has tried to do before too. At one point, my son said “I don’t want to go back to swimming lessons.” I replied, “I’m sorry. You are going to finish the class. We don’t quit something we start.” And he responded with, “It’s okay. I’m a quitter.” Well, it’s not okay and I then told him that he was not a quitter and he will be finishing the swimming lessons.  

The issue here isn’t whether or not it’s okay for him to quit (although I am a firm believer in finishing what you start), but the issue is that my son needs to learn how to swim. It is a skill that can save his life in the future. I don’t like arguing with him when he doesn’t want to go, but I love him too much to let him weasel his way out of them.
3.      Always Know Where the Kids Are. I hate to admit it, but we are living in a very scary world right now. Even if your kids know how to swim and are responsible, they aren’t necessarily out of danger. There are people everywhere who are looking for unsuspecting children to take advantage of. Therefore, make sure you or your spouse/partner always has an eye on the kids.

To help make my point, I’m going to share a true story with you that happened to my sister-in-law’s cousin. My sister-in-law’s aunt had taken her kids to a nearby waterpark for a day of fun. They hadn’t been there for a few hours when she lost track of her 4 year old. She panicked and was on her way to the front of the part to have them shut the park down when she spotted her son – who was holding hands with another woman who was ON HER WAY OUT of the park! The minute she ran over there, the woman dropped her son’s hand and ran out of the park.

If you are a parent, then this story probably had some effect on you. I know it did me. My son is 5 and the thought of losing him scares me to death. Just make sure you know where your kids are at all times.

4.      Use Good Judgment. Finally, use good judgment. Kids ask to do things all the time that they don’t think through. Kids think that nothing bad will ever happen to them and that they aren’t going to get hurt. They don’t have the ability (or wisdom) to understand that anything can happen. If your child wants to do something that you aren’t comfortable with. It’s better to say “no” and have your child mad at you, then to agree and something terrible happens as a result. Remember, you are the parent and you know what is best for your children.
Summertime is a fun time for families to get some quality time in together. Just make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep kids safe as you get out and enjoy the summer activities. Things usually go wrong when parents are relaxed and let their guards down. With that in mind, have fun and enjoy your family this summer!!

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