Kris Louis, Parenting with Kris
Geared Up for Summer: How to Prepare Your Family for Their Favorite Season
Summer is a wonderful time of year for families. With school being out and the weather warming up, the season provides plenty of opportunities for fun and bonding. However, you don’t want the fun to be spoiled with an accident, injury, or illness. That’s why it’s worth it to prepare your family as best you can so everyone can have fun and make only good memories.
Summer Safety Rules for Kids
One of the best ways you can keep kids safe is by laying out the ground rules for summer. Kids respond well to boundaries when they are clearly communicated with the reasons behind each rule thoroughly expressed. You want them to have fun, but you want them to remain safe!
- When playing outside -- whether it be at the park, the pool, or anywhere else -- kids should always be in the line of sight of the supervising adult.
- Dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to death. Consider buying your children their own reusable water bottles featuring their favorite colors or characters. Children can also eat their water via hydrating fruits and vegetables. Visit your local farmers market and stock your kitchen with fresh produce. Not only does buying directly from the growers support people in your community, it reduces your family’s oil consumption.
- Nobody wants to wait when it is time to go outside, but it’s important to put on sunscreen first. No matter their age, sun damage is more harmful for children. Getting sunburns as a child increases their risk of developing skin cancer as adults. Stock up on kid-safe SPF at your local pharmacy and re-apply on children at least every two hours.
- Teach your children about the dangers and symptoms of heat stroke. Tell them if they ever feel confused, dizzy, nauseous, or overheated -- or if they have a headache, cramps, or trouble breathing -- while playing outside, they should tell an adult. Afterward, they must take a break inside and drink cool water to prevent escalating symptoms.
- Kids need to wear protective gear when participating in outdoor activities such as riding their bicycles, skateboarding, and inline skating. If they are in a boat, canoe, or other water vessel, children should always wear life jackets. You can find all the protective summer gear you need at your local sporting goods store.
Fun Family Activities for Summer
Now that your entire family is geared up and ready for a safe and fun summer, it’s time to start planning what you can do together. This time of year is for outdoor activities that stimulate the imagination while letting little ones expend all their excess energy.
Try the following these outside activities to keep busy:
- Bird watching teaches kids to pay attention to the world around them -- rather than spending all their time with their nose in their phones. Try making a bird feeder in the backyard to attract more species to your own little ecosystem.
- Geocaching is a hot new treasure-hunting trend for families to do together. Find local geocaching sites using a GPS device or app on your phone. Or you can make your very own treasure map your kids have to use to find a cool surprise!
- Want a chore that also lets your kids cool off? Washing the car allows them to splish and splash while still getting something done.
- Even if you don’t have time to trek out to nature, you can teach your kids about the fundamentals of camping in the backyard. Pitch a tent, make a small (and safe) fire, and count the stars in your sleeping bag without leaving your property.
- Most towns have public Frisbee golf courses available for families.
Summer is a great opportunity to have fun and bond with your children. Make sure they are safe by laying down summer rules from the very beginning so your children know what is right and wrong. Don’t let them get bored this season, either. Plan out a number of fun activities you can do together to keep them from spending their summer frying their brains in front of screens.