Empower Your Child With Summer Fun Safety Tips!
by Pattie Fitzgerald
Let’s face it. We aren’t always going to be right there next to our kids as they venture out this summer. That’s why it’s so important that we arm them with some important safety skills this season. Here are some basic safety rules for parents and children, whether you’re at Disneyland or the local supermarket:
Parents often tell their kids not to talk to strangers. However, in certain instances, children may need to identify a “safe stranger” in an emergency. In a recent local news story, a child was lost on an outing and too afraid to ask for help. The child ended up wandering around on their own, not sure what to do or where to go. Luckily, it was resolved happily, and the parents were reunited with their child, unharmed, after about an hour of panicked searching. A lot of this could have been avoided if the child had been given some empowering safety skills to fall back on.
Depending on their age, personality and maturity level, there are a number of different safety strategies to teach your kids in case you get separated. They can:
1) Go to a nearby mom with kids to ask for help. Experts agree that children innately feel more comfortable going to a woman with children if they need assistance. Studies also show that a “mom with kids” will get involved and stay with the child until the problem is resolved.
2) If the child is old enough, they can go to the “cash register person” to ask for help. Avoid telling a child to “go find the manager.” Any important-looking person in a suit can look like the manager to a child. If you’re at a theme park, they can go to the nearest food vendor or gift cart.
3) Make it clear to your child that you will NEVER leave without them. They shouldn’t go looking in the parking lot for you.
4) In a new or unfamiliar setting, you can agree on a certain meeting place if someone gets lost, i.e. “We’ll meet at the Merry-Go-Round if we get separated.”
Kids should “check first” with their parents or the grown-up in charge before going anywhere in a public place. This includes going to the bathroom or getting a snack.
Be sure that children know their parents’ cell phone number in case they become lost.
If necessary, write it down and put it in their pocket or backpack, and let them know they can find a safe grown-up and ask them to call that phone number in an emergency. If they are at an outing with a camp counselor, be sure there are safety rules and policies in place for when they are out in public.
Remind all children, especially young ones, that they are “the boss of their bodies”.
No one is allowed to touch their bathing suit areas. This is especially important as kids are often at swim camps and pool parties during the summer.
Dress your kids in brightly colored clothes – it’s easier to spot them this way.
Carry a recent picture of your child at all times.
Here’s to a wonderful and safe summer season! With any luck, maybe we can even squeeze in a little rest and relaxation between all the activities!
For more information, or to book your own workshop, call 310-203-1330.