Summer is here at last! The summer months are a time for kids to have fun, play outside, and explore! But it’s also important for parents and caregivers to take steps to ensure their safety. Summer safety is important, here are some ways parents can keep their kids safe and cared for during the summer months:
1. Teach Water Safety:
If you have a pool or are planning on going to the beach or any body of water, it’s important to teach children how to swim and be safe around water. If children are unable to swim, make sure they have a life jacket. Always supervise children around water, and never leave them alone.
2. Use Sun Protection:
Protect your child’s skin from harmful UV rays by using sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing. Make sure to apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going outside and reapply every couple hours as needed.
3. Stay Hydrated:
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when playing outside. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be dangerous.
4. Use Insect Repellent
Protect your child from mosquito and tick bites by using insect repellent. Check for ticks after spending time in wooded areas or tall grass.
5. Teach Road Safety
If your child is riding a bike or scooter, make sure they wear a helmet and understand road safety rules. Teach them to stay on the sidewalk and watch for cars.
6. Keep an Eye Out
Know where your child is at all times and who they are with. Make sure you know the adults that will be present at all activities. If your child is going somewhere like summer camp, learn the safety policies If they are going to a friend’s house or attending a sumke sure you know the adults in charge and their safety policies. Set a curfew and remind your child to stay in communication with you if plans change.
7. Assess If Your Child Can Stay Alone
Utah law doesn’t dictate a certain age when kids are ready to be left home alone. This leaves the decision to parental discretion. When determining if a child is mature enough to be left alone or tend younger children, look for signs that your child is responsible: for example, doing homework, maintaining personal hygiene, etc.. If your child is prone to impulsive behavior, they may not be ready. Create a safety plan, and make sure the child has the ability to access multiple trusted adults as well as 911 in case of an emergency.
8. Need Child Care Assistance?
Certain households may qualify for Child Care Assistance through the Department of Workforce Services. This can be especially helpful to families during the summer months when school isn’t in session. To see if you qualify, apply online at https://jobs.utah.gov/customereducation/services/childcare/
9. Need Help with Food?
The Summer Food Service Program is a wonderful resource for families, providing free, nutritious meals to children during the summer months. Text “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744 or call 1-866-348-6479 to find a site near you.
While summer may be cherished by students and children far and wide, it can pose unique concerns for parents and caregivers. Remember to establish and discuss summer safety rules with your child. Finally, if nutrition or child care is a concern for your household during the summer months, take advantage of the many community and family resources Utah has to offer.
Wishing you and your family an amazing summer. Have fun, and stay safe out there!