By Aurora M.
Now that the weather is warming up, it’s a great idea to send your kids outside to play for a little while every day. The fresh air will be good for them, and it will give them a chance to get some of their abounding energy out. It’s also a great opportunity for you to set up a chair in the shade and read that book you’ve been meaning to get to for the past 6 months, or maybe just open up the kitchen door and keep an eye on them as you catch up on work or the dishes. Every season brings its own set of things to be cautious of, so make sure that you’re mindful and watchful of your kids as they transition into spending more time outside in the warm weather!
Protect their skin
Because it’s warm, but not hot yet, a lot of people forget that you still need sunblock. However, it can be especially important now, when your children’s skin is still pale and tender from a winter spent indoors. Make sure that if your kids are going to be spending more than half an hour outside, you apply a quick coat of sunblock to protect them from harmful UV rays. This is necessary even if it’s cloudy! Not all harmful UV rays are blocked when you’re not in direct sunlight; it can reflect off of water, concrete, and houses. Make sure to send them out with sunglasses, as well, to protect their eyes from sun damage.
If your child is riding their bike, skateboard, scooter, or really any other device with wheels, make sure they’ve got a helmet and any other safety pads to keep them safe. Even if they’re really good at the sport and they’ve never had a crash before… doesn’t mean it’s okay for them to be out without the proper safety gear. No matter how skilled your child is, accidents happen, and often times it won’t be their fault, so you want to keep them and their little noggins protected!
Other safety measures
Spring is a common time to do yard work and home maintenance. Make sure that your kids are protected during these activities. In many cases, it may be smart to not let your children help with the projects, such as if you are working with heavy machinery or sharp objects. Screen your yard, watching for danger spots. Sure, kids can find danger anywhere, but you can still take precautions to guard them against the most common problems. Keep tools and chemicals out of reach of your children, and away from their play zones. Check for wasp’s nests or areas that spiders might live. Your garage is another area that could be risky for kids. This article has some good ideas for protecting kids from the most common problems.
Because your children are going to be spending a lot more time outdoors now that the weather is warmer, it’s important to talk to your kids about whether or not it’s safe to talk to strangers. You don’t want them to be afraid of every person they ever meet, but you want to teach them to be wary of individuals with malicious intentions. Make sure to keep the discussion open, and let them express their feelings and concerns, so that way everyone is on the same page, and they don’t feel like you’re being unnecessarily strict. Many communities have programs like this one that can help open up the discussion and educate kids about what to watch for.
When your kids are playing all day long, they may get distracted and forget about important human needs, like having regular snacks and drinking water. Try to encourage them to come inside on a regular basis throughout the day and get them to take a drink of water before going back out to play. If you’re heading to the park or the pool, make sure to pack a few water bottles and light snacks, to keep their energy up, and to keep them from getting overtired or sick.
Spring is one of the funnest times for kids, because of the mild weather, and because they’ve been cooped up during the cold winter months. Make sure to encourage your child to take advantage of the great weather, just make sure that they’re doing it safely.