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Summer Safety Tips: Make The Most Of Your Summer Break

Updated: Apr 4

Now that summer is approaching, it's a great time to start thinking about how to ensure a safe and fun summer for your children. We all are looking forward to the warm weather and a break from the hustle and bustle of the school year but taking the time to be aware of a few common summertime pitfalls can help you make the most of your family's summer break this year.


WE GET PRETTY HOT:




The heat and humidity specific to a Florida summer can be pretty intense and often children aren't aware of the dangers these high temperatures can cause. Be sure that your child understands that although outdoor play is a healthy part of their summer, staying hydrated and noticing the early signs of heat exhaustion can prevent some unwanted health issues.



Some signs of an oncoming heat issue include: dizziness, fatigue, confusion, headache, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. When body temperatures rise above normal levels it can pose all sorts of problems for our body's systems, so be sure your child knows to be on the lookout for these and other heat related symptoms. For a full list of heat related symptoms, check out the CDC's website: Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness | Natural Disasters and Severe Weather | CDC





To prevent heat related issues, be sure your child knows to wear breathable, light-colored clothing when playing outdoors. You can also help them recognize thirst before heat related symptoms begin. Staying hydrated is an important step to keeping the body from overheating. Finally, you can ensure your child knows to find a shady, cool place to take a break from time to time if they are playing outdoors in the sun.





Outdoor Playground Equipment:


Talk to your child about playground equipment so that they can avoid burns. Monkey bars, swings and slides, and other outdoor equipment can heat up to dangerous temperatures so be sure your child knows to do a touch test before hopping on these structures.





Skin Protection:


Sunburns in Florida are not uncommon, but because we live in the Sunshine State, we are uniquely susceptible to the dangerous burns that can arise from spending too much time in the sun unprotected. Be sure your child understands the importance of protecting their skin by wearing hats and proper clothing as a barrier against sunburn. Sunscreen is also an important factor in preventing burns and should be reapplied often to ensure proper protection.




WATER SAFETY:


Summer break in Florida is synonymous with water activities, so knowing a few water safety tips can help keep children safe while having fun in the water.






Adult Supervision At All Times:

There is no substitute for a watchful adult so ALWAYS be sure children have adult supervision; whether playing in the water, or simply having a body of water nearby, children should never be left unattended. Designate two (or more) adults to monitor children around the water because distracted adults may not notice a water related issue. Having more than one adult designated to monitor children can ensure that those distractions don't take away the only set of eyes supervising water play.


Buddy System: Having a buddy system in place for children while they are swimming or doing other water related activities can be a second line of defense against drowning. When children stick together during play, they can alert adults quickly if a problem arises. This is not a substitute to a watchful adult, so be sure there are multiple adults monitoring water activities at all times.



Nature Should Be Appreciated From A Distance:


Water bodies in Florida may be a great place to view the beauty of our state, but make sure children understand that ponds and lakes may be home to some very unsavory inhabitants. Snapping turtles, water moccasins, and gators can all be present in the naturally occurring water bodies here in Florida. Be sure to talk with your children about the dangers of ponds and lakes here in our area so that they won't be tempted to wade or swim in areas that could be dangerous.







OUTDOOR AND ONLINE PLAYTIME:




Stranger Awareness:

The unstructured time during summer is a perfect recipe for children to find themselves in situations they may not otherwise encounter so making sure children know and understand how to be safe around strangers is an important part of a safe summer. Most parents know to talk to their children about staying safe around strangers in the park, at the beach, or during outdoor play but internet safety is a vital part of helping children stay safe too.






During outdoor activities, children should be aware of their surroundings and always make sure they are within eyesight of a trusted adult. Make sure your child knows if they can't see you, you can't see them.


We discuss stranger awareness and safety in our karate classes because preventing a dangerous encounter with a stranger is much better than trying to escape from one that has already arisen. Situational awareness and understanding how to avoid unsafe environments is one of many topics we discuss.


Online safety can't be overlooked either, making sure your child knows which sites are a 'green light' for them and setting strong boundaries about sites that are unsavory is the first step to helping kids stay safe online. Always monitor your child's online activity and stay abreast of apps that they download to their phone.





During gaming, make sure your child knows that even during sessions with 'friends' they should be aware of some red flags. Cyberbullying, identity theft, and online predators are all factors that should be discussed with children often to ensure they understand that the internet is not a place to let their guard down.


Be sure your child knows not to download anything before running it by you and talk to them about the dangers of giving out personal information while online. You can find a more complete listing of tips for online safety here: Online Gaming Safety for Kids: What Parents Need To Know (aura.com)





Communication is an important part of safety and I recommend that you spend as much time as possible chatting with your children. Apps and games can pull your child's attention away from you so make a point to have multiple times during the day that you and your child can chat because if you don't have a habit of communication with your child about the everyday things, it will seem awkward and unwelcome to your child when you discuss safety procedures with them. Work these tips into your normal everyday conversations so that you and your child can build a bond of communication that goes far beyond safety tips.



By taking a few steps before summer begins, you can help your child enjoy a fun and safe summer.


For more information about how our program can help your child have their best summer check out our karate classes for children and enjoy a FREE TRIAL CLASS: https://cp.mystudio.io/t/?=8139694777/2046/37726//1712068243






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