“Mom, I’m bored!”
“Can we go do something?”
Sound familiar? With summer comes the dreaded fear of bored, uninvolved kids. And for many of us, the park is the perfect place to take the kids to run off some energy and get active. But, as with any location or activity, there are some inherent dangers that you need to be aware of to protect yourself and your family. Here are six ways to stay safe in public places like your local park or beach:
- Talk with your children. “Stranger danger” may seem like a cheesy mantra, but it is so important that you talk with your kids about avoiding strangers. We don’t want to create anti-social children who are terrified of every adult that comes near them. But they do need to know how to respond if a stranger comes up and tries to talk to them.
- Pack appropriately. Especially in the summer, it is essential that you stay hydrated so that you don’t get sick. As such, you should pack plenty of water with you before you go to the park. Also, bring some snacks in case you start to get hungry; items like nuts and cheese that are high in protein are a good choice. Finally, be sure to bring along your cellphone. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people try to be “off the grid” while they are at the park. It’s fine to not check your work email, but you still need your phone in case there is an emergency.
- Safety first. If you or your child plan to do any activities like biking or skating, be sure to wear your safety equipment like a helmet and elbow and knee pads. Remember that you set the example for your children, so don’t expect them to wear their helmets if you won’t do the same.
- Be careful in the wild. If you aren’t going to a public playground, but instead plan to go hiking or biking in a more natural environment, then there are a few more issues to consider. First, be sure to look out for wild animals and tell your children to do the same. Those raccoons may look cute and cuddly, but a wild animal bite followed by painful rabies injections is not the perfect end to your trip. In the same vein, be sure to check everyone when you get home for ticks and tick bites. Lyme disease is a debilitating illness and not something to take lightly.
- Dress properly. Not only should you wear comfortable clothes that will protect you from the sun while also being cool enough to let you be active, but you should also wear bright clothes that are easy to see and won’t attract as much heat and sunlight. Also, wear comfortable shoes that will keep you safe. It may seem like a great idea to take off your shoes and run wild, but not if you burn your feet on a hot playground surface.
- Wear sunscreen. Don’t trust that a hat and clothes will protect you from the sun. Sunburns are painful and also a potential risk factor for skin cancer later on. Wear a good quality sunscreen with a high SPF and make sure to reapply the sunscreen every hour.
Have fun this summer—get out and do something active. But at the same time, don’t forget to be smart and safe when you go out to play this year.
Other articles you might be interested in:
How Can I Prove Liability After A Swimming Pool Accident?
6 Beach Safety Tips for Summer