Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.
Summertime is something most kids look forward to all year; the chance to stay up a little later than usual, take vacations, head to summer camp, and spend time with friends makes it a favorite season for a lot of children. But the dangers associated with warmer weather activities can leave parents with a headache, so it’s important to have a plan for the hottest months, especially if you’ll be working outside the home.
From bike-riding to trips to the park, living in the city holds its share of fun and risk for little ones. Make sure they know where they can and can’t go, what to do in case of an emergency, and how to keep themselves safe in hot, crowded areas. Here are some of the best tips.
Parks and playgrounds
Playgrounds get a lot of use during summer months, especially in big cities, so it’s important to inspect any equipment your child will be using to make sure it’s in good working order and there are no loose screws or nails sticking out. Check out all surfaces--such as slides--to make sure they aren’t too hot. Teach your child about the dangers of talking to strangers or touching things they find on the ground, and most importantly, be present when supervising your child’s play. Skate parks are great places for older children to play; just make sure they have access to a first aid kit and are equipped with safety gear such as a fitted helmet and knee/elbow pads.
Beat the heat
Bigger cities seem to soak up the heat and leave it hanging in the air, where it shimmers over blacktop and reflects blindingly off buildings. Make sure your child wears shoes at all times and keep them covered with sunblock, hats, and sunglasses when they’re spending time outside. If you don’t have air conditioning in your house, consider letting your child spend time at a local library, day camp, or city cooling centers, which can be found online. Put fans in your child’s bedroom to help them stay a little cooler at night. Hot summer nights can make getting a good night’s rest difficult, and a lack of sleep can have negative effects on your child’s physical and mental health.
Block parties, Independence Day celebrations, and birthday parties are a regular occurrence during summer, so it’s important to keep safety in mind before, during, and after get-togethers. Always supervise children and keep them close at crowded events. If you’re hosting a party, cleanup--while tiring--is imperative, especially if you have small children. Popped balloons can present a choking hazard, and the remains of fireworks should always be swept up and disposed of. Make sure any leftover fireworks, matches, and lighters are safely put away as well.
Grills and fire safety
While every city has different laws regarding building codes and what can and can’t be done on a balcony, patio, or terrace, it’s important to know the rules and practice safety no matter what you’re allowed to do. Where grills are concerned, teach children never to touch and to stay away from propane tanks and cooking tools. Keep fire extinguishers on hand and never allow a child to handle raw food or the utensils that prepared it.
Living in urban areas can present a different set of safety problems for parents to worry about, but if you plan accordingly, summertime can be an enjoyable time for everyone.
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