Around one in three Americans suffer from sunburn every year and the effects are worse for children with sensitive and delicate skin. And this summer, in particular, poses more health risks than any other summer in recent history because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But summer 2021 does not need to be boring or stressful. You can still have tons of fun with your family while staying safe.
Not sure how to do that? These summer safety tips will help you navigate this unique summer season.
1. Stay (Close to) Home as Much as Possible
Forget flying abroad for your summer vacation this year. Navigating PCR tests, travel insurance, potential quarantines, and border restrictions are not worth the stress. Mexico and Disneyland Paris will still be there in a few years.
Here are some ways to have a fun summer at home this year:
- Camp in the garden
- Make dens in the living room
- Have a long term project e.g. build a race track or rocket
- Create a summer-long tournament with prizes
- Learn a new skill e.g. martial arts, cooking, or guitar
Or, if you do want to take a vacation, consider public safety as well as your family’s safety. Here are some examples of great vacations to take in summer 2021:
- Stay in a private vacation rental in the countryside or at the beach
- Take a road trip and stay in private hotels or campsites
- RV around less popular State and/or National Parks
Use private forms of transport like cars or boast instead of public ones like planes or buses.
2. Choose Socially Distanced Activities
You might prefer your children to spend as little time with people outside of your family as possible. But that might not be realistic. Instead, be proactive and organize socially distanced activities.
Instead of contact games like soccer, hockey, and tag, arrange the following sports:
- Roller skating
Also, be mindful to choose outside activities. Social distancing is possible with games like bowling, but it is an inside activity. This increases the risk of spreading airborne viruses.
You could also go to an outdoor or drive-in movie theater, watch firework displays, or go fishing. Check the website of any organized event to see what their social distancing practices are before you go.
3. Create a Closed Circle of Friends and Family
Are your children begging to hang out with their cousins or friends this summer? Does it feel super harsh to stop them from seeing their buddies?
If your friends and family agree, you could form a small closed circle or bubble with specific family members or friends. Your children will be able to hang out with a specific group (and only that specific group) to lessen the chance of infection.
4. Teach Your Children About Hygiene
You should already be teaching your kids about hygiene, but this year it is more important than ever!
Though they might not need to wear masks, buy them cool ones so they will be more likely to wear one. Iron Man helmets count!
Teach them how and how long to wash their hands. You could make it fun by singing a 20-second handwashing song. And think ahead before eating meals with other people so your children know not to share their food or drink with other kids.
5. Prepare For the Heat and Sun
Viruses are not the only thing to concern yourself with in summer 2021. All the usual hazards are still present. This means you need to prepare your family for the increased heat and sunshine.
Make sure your kids have their own water bottles that they carry with them at all times. Buy them bottles with pictures of their favorite cartoon characters so encourage your children to use them.
Apply sunscreen every three hours in hot weather, more often if your children have been playing in the water. Make sure they have sun hats and encourage them to play in the shade where possible.
Be mindful of hot surfaces and stuffy cars. If you have babies, keep a thermometer in their bedroom and the car. Strip off their clothes if they get too hot.
6. Be Mindful of Water Activities
350 children under the age of five in the US drown every year in backyard pool accidents. It is a sobering statistic to alert you to the potential dangers of water activities.
But thousands of children enjoy swimming in pools and open waters every summer with no problems.
Always supervise your children whenever they are around water, even if they are not in the actual pool. Keep plenty of floatation devices nearby. If you have a backyard pool or are staying somewhere with one, lock all the outside doors so they cannot reach the pool without you knowing.
When taking your children out on a boat, they should always wear a life jacket with no exceptions. And if your children are not strong swimmers, lessons are a great investment.
7. Watch Out for Bug Bites
Most bug bites are harmless but they are annoying. If you are hiking in the countryside, spray your children with insect repellent to avoid those itchy bites.
Encourage your family to wear long clothing to avoid tick bites when camping or spending lots of time outdoors. And if your young child has an allergy to bees or other insects, give them a medical alarm to wear like the ones from BlueStar SeniorTech.
Always bring any medication or EpiPens your family needs on day trips in case there is an emergency.
8. Learn About Cycling Safety
There are very few negatives to cycling. It is an enjoyable activity the whole family can take part in, get exercise from, and it’s good for the environment.
But there are always dangers to riding any vehicle on busy roads.
Make sure your children’s bikes are in working order before every bike ride and that they wear helmets. Teach your children about signaling and stopping at certain signs to decrease their chances of accidents.
Stay Safe While Having Fun This Summer
Summer 2021 is going to be unlike any other summer your children will experience. But with these tips, your children will still be able to learn new skills, have lots of fun, and learn how to keep themselves safe.
It will be a summer they will remember for all the right reasons and not the bad ones.
Want to learn more about how to navigate the unprecedented times we are living in? Browse our website for lifestyle tips and news!