Summer is rough on moms and kids. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 kids is going to need medical attention for something over the course of the summer. I have 4 kids. Are you kidding me?! The last thing I need is a call saying my one of my chuckle heads is at the hospital. So, here we go with some tips to keep your kids safe this summer.
- Bug Spray – The bugs in JOMO are no joke. There’s mosquitoes carrying off toddlers, ticks that can make you allergic to meat, and at least two kinds of spiders that can kill you. That’s not to mention the human to ant population ratio is approximately 1: 1,000,000,000. Seriously, bug bites are not fun. Aside from being itchy, they can get infected. Kids have all sorts of gunk under their nails. And scratching can cause bleeding and right there is how those infections start. Stop them before they start with hand washing. Then, get a backup plan with bug spray with 10 – 30 percent DEET. Just don’t use on the face or hands. Want a non DEET way to keep the bugs off, try repellents that contain lemon or eucalyptus. Bonus nacho: bugs are not attracted to light colored clothing as much as they are bright or dark colors.
- Tick Check – Bouncing off the bug spray, tick checks are second nature around here. I feel like a mother marmoset grooming my little monkeys. If they go outside I make sure to check them head to toe. We have been fortunate this year. We’ve had crawlers but none attached. There are ticks that carry Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, and something that kills you in 48 hours. Seriously, ticks are sent from Beezlebub himself. So, even if you spray them down, still check your kids and their clothes. If you do find an embedded tick, do not pull it out. I repeat – DO NOT PULL IT OUT!!! Use tweezers. Do not your fingers. Seriously, we are not animals. Get to using those tools. Get as close to the skin, hold the tick steady in the tweezers then pull straight up. Don’t twist the tweezers. One, it hurts. Two, you can break its head off and you need to dig that sucker out. Ewwww! Once it’s out flush the demon parasite down the toilet and disinfect the area. You’re not done. you’ll want to watch the bite area for a few days for any changes, redness, swelling, bulls eye marking, 666, whatever. If you see anything, call the doctor.
- Water Play – So, I’m totally afraid of pools. This didn’t always used to be the case. I practically lived at the neighborhood pool. I don’t know what changed. But what I do know is 3,700 kids in 2006 aged 5 years old and younger were involved in near drowning incidents. More than 830 kids ages 14 and younger die because of drowning every year. Those numbers are enough to tell my kids no pools, only water balloons and hoses. Don’t leave your kids unattended. I don’t care if little Johnny is the next Michael Phelps. Don’t let your kid swim unattended. If you have a pool, get a gate, alarms, whatever it takes to make sure your kid doesn’t end up a statistic. If you’re kid can’t swim, get them lessons. Until then, flotation vests and arm floaties are thing. Put them on.
- Playground – Playgrounds are way safer now then when I was a kid. Still, falls, trips, breaks. These all happen. Who remembers the metal slide? Every playground had one. Some still do. August sun plus shiny metal surface can result in burns. Check the temp before letting Mary Sue slide down. The big one is a common thing: check your kid’s shoelaces. Untied shoes are not just a sign of carelessness (My mom told me this once.) They can cause falls or get caught on something. Now, I’m not saying get flip flops. I hate flip flops. They are so not conducive to playground running around. The double knot is your friend. Make sure those shoes fit well. You don’t want them slipping and sliding all over the place.
- Sunscreen – Don’t forget the sunscreen. I can’t stress this enough. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy or cool, slather on the spf mayonnaise. I made this unfortunate mistake once. It was March. We went to the lake all day – all day on the water in a boat. I didn’t put sunscreen on my three year old daughter because it was March. We had to go to the er because she had second degree burns on her face. Huge blisters on her cheeks. And because I’m a train wreck mom, I can still see the scars on her face. She doesn’t. No one else does. Just me because if I had just put the sunscreen on her, there would not have been a problem. So, save yourself the trip to Mom Guilt Land and put the sunscreen on them. They even make ones with bug spray and sunscreen. Get that! You’ll be setting a pattern of behavior that could prevent cancer. And that’s always a good deal. At the least, they won’t get sunburned.
So, there’s my summer safety tips. What do you do to keep your kids safe on break?