Summer Safety Tips When Vacationing With Kids

Michelle Riffer


June 20, 2018

Summer Safety Tips When Vacationing With Kids

Two examples of summer safety conversations with my husband —

Before kids:
“Oh! I need to wipe this tanning oil off my hands before I grab my drink… it could get too slippery and poke my eye out with the mini-umbrella!” [Takes sip out of a coconut] “Phew that was a close one!” [Reclines chair back and resumes HOT!HOT!HOT! playlist on iPod]

 After kids:
Sunscreen applied? Floatation devices properly secured? No we’re not swimming, but they could fall in when we turn our back. What is the baby picking up off the ground? A Goldfish cracker! No!!! Gluten!…” [Attempts to enjoy party while silently going through summer safety checklist and not appearing too panicked]

Ok, both scenarios may have been slightly dramatized – but you get my point. Summer fun has different responsibilities before and after kids arrive. The key for me is finding that delicate balance between education, application, and complete hysteria.

After research, speaking with other parents and consulting with our trusted pediatricians, here’s a list of what our family keeps on the forefront of summer safety:

  • Water safety: The basics, but also avoiding pool drains (and pulling back hair) which poses a bigger threat than the scary stories of “dry drowning” which have flooded social media the last few years.
  • Heat & hydration: Kids are more susceptible, never leave kids in the car, and know how to identify and prevent illness.
  • Sun protection: Not just sunscreen, but glasses and hats too.
  • Dietary restrictions & cookouts: More and more families like mine are dealing with dietary restrictions, whether from allergies, intolerances or religious restrictions. In the past, I’ve shared a few coping techniques we’ve implemented to keep our family safe while still enjoying get-togethers
  • Bee stings & insect bites: Honeybees are our friends, but we avoid the more aggressive wasps and making any of them angry. Mosquitos can spread disease and are hard to avoid, but we do our best.  After a long battle with chronic Lyme and several other tick-borne diseases, my biggest concern for our family is ticks – and we’re sure to check after any time spent outdoors.

Experience has taught me that tanning oil with an SPF4 isn’t protecting my skin, best intentions and advice isn’t always sound, and that it is very important to educate yourself, both on real and perceived safety issues. When researching, information overload can overwhelm the best of us.  To lower your stress and relax this summer, make sure you share what you research with your family, friends, and most importantly, your doctors. Collaborating around health will ensure future summer trips turn into fun memories and not cautionary tales.

What is your best summer safety tip?

Image credit to Tomek Baginski
Originally posted July 26, 2017