It’s summertime, and most of us are out enjoying the season in the sun and the water. But no matter how carefree the time may seem, it’s important to remember that there can be serious consequences that come with not being prepared, and it’s even more important that we teach those lessons to our kids.
Here are 7 ways you can make sure your kids are sun and swim smart in the summer:
1. Develop a sunscreen habit
Every time you go outside in the summer – even if it’s just in the backyard – your kid gets sunscreen. If it’s a consistent part of their routine, your kids will develop the habit and expectation to apply it even when you’re not with them.
2. Teach them to swim
Whether you teach them yourself or put them in swim lessons, this is a life-saving skill that everyone needs to have. While it’s still important to exercise caution even when they know how to swim, your kids will be at a significantly lower risk of drowning if they can swim independently.It's important that we teach these 7 simple #summer safety tips to our #kids > Click To Tweet
3. Teach them to cover up
Your kids need to understand that while sunscreen is important, it’s not quite enough because it wears off quickly due to swim and sweat. There are other ways to protect their delicate skin from the sun like the use of portable sun-protective shade, sunglasses, and also sun-protective clothing that blocks UV rays. Set your child up for success by buying stylish sun-protective clothing, hats, and other accessories that they can’t wait to wear or use.
4. Talk about the “why”
Kids may follow the rules you set, but the time will come when they want to test their obedience. Always talk about the “why” behind the safety rules you set so they can start to learn to assess risk and danger for themselves. For example, instead of saying simply, “Don’t run by the pool,” explain, “Don’t run by the pool. If you tripped, the concrete pool deck is hard, and you’d get hurt. You could also fall into the water – or accidentally knock someone else in – and they can get hurt or drown if they don’t know how to swim.”
5. Get them their own water bottle
Hydration is so important, but it’s too easy for kids to be so busy having summer fun that they don’t even realize they’re thirsty until they’re overheated. Get them a water bottle that they love and help them set goals of how much they need to drink. Try something like, “You need to drink three of these by the end of the day,” or “See this line here? By the time you’re finished with your swimming lesson, you should make sure you’ve had this much water.”
6. Set strict rules around water
Whether your child can swim or not, they should never be in or around the water unsupervised. Set crystal clear guidelines around where they may – or may not – go when you’re spending time around water, and repeat those guidelines often. Have your child repeat the rules back to you, so you are confident they understand them.
7. Teach them to self-assess
Kids need to learn how to identify their physical needs and regulate their bodies appropriately, but they need guidance on how to do so. Heat exhaustion can manifest itself through crying, anger, or sadness, so teach your child to slow down on occasion and think about their bodies. Ask them, “Do you feel very hot or thirsty right now?” or “Is your heart beating really fast?” If you help them to slow down and identify the physical issues that are going on, they can then be taught to respond before an issue escalates and becomes a bigger health problem.
Wrapping Up 7 Ways To Keep Your Kids Summer Safe
Summer is such a fun season; it’s easy to forget that there are some serious safety issues that our kids need to learn to enjoy it properly. If you teach them the reasons behind the rules and make sure they’ve got all the right gear and clothes to enjoy summer safely, you can be confident that your summer will be filled with good (and safe) memories.
What summer safety tips have you found to be helpful for your family?
This article was written by Jenny. Jenny is a mother of two, a chocolate addict and a lover of nature. When she isn’t trying to get her kids to enjoy the great outdoors as much as she does, you can find her blogging about everything parenting at Mom Loves Best, or pinning up a storm on Pinterest.
PS – If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like 50 Most Exciting Summer Activities for Toddlers.