Here we are in May, and as fast as the year has already gone, we will soon be in the full swing of summer. I love the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer – the warm, sunny days, cooking out, staying light longer and just being outside enjoying it all. One of my favorite things about summer is vacation time. I love that my grandkids are on summer break, and, outside their summer camps, are free to go and do without the usual time constraints.
Now that we have moved to the coast, my summer safety concerns have ramped up a bit. Going to the beach presents a few more concerns than the club swimming pool. When our house is built, there will be water just steps from the door – an “attractive nuisance” that will need special precautions taken to ensure safety.
Our daughters are all good swimmers, so I was very happy when they gave their children swim lessons at an early age. They have taken classes taught by specially trained instructors that teach them how to immediately flip on their backs and float if they fall in the water. It progresses from floating and getting air, to their stomachs and swimming, and back and forth until they reach the edge of the pool. Children love being in and around water, so it is of utmost importance to make sure not only that they can swim, but also that they respect boundaries and rules for being in or near it. Our eldest granddaughter, a good swimmer, was made to wear a life jacket if she wanted to go farther out in the ocean. She objected, lost the argument, and, when told of rip currents, decided life preservers were not such a bad thing.
Backyard pools can be great, but safety measures need to be taken not only in the water, but out of it as well. My son-in-law was temporarily moved by his company to Texas. The house they rented while there had a pool. It would have been so easy for a child to get out without anyone noticing. Fortunately, the homeowners had a lock at the top of the door that children could not reach. It is good to have locks or alarms that are childproof on doors and windows whether you have a pool or not.
With the hot summer sun, there are other items we need to have on hand when the grandchildren come. A good sunscreen lotion is a must. It is important to buy a brand you can trust as there have been reports of children getting serious sunburns while using a cheap off-brand. Sunscreens need to be applied according to directions to prove effective.
Mosquitoes, ticks and other unsavory insects can be kept at bay with a good repellent. There are several options to help keep them away and the family from being their meal. Make sure to keep it with you when going on a hike or in a grassy or wooded area, and reapply if outside for any length of time. Give everyone a good once over when you get home to make sure none of the little critters have come back with you.
In case of sunburn or bug bites, have soothing lotions for each to ease the pain or itching. A first-aid kit is advisable and should be checked from time to time to make sure it is well stocked.
Finally, make sure an adult has an eye on the children at all times. It is so easy for everyone to think someone else is keeping up with the young ones. Stress to your entire group all the safety rules you have in place and the importance of following them.
Have a wonderful summer with your grandchildren, and stay safe out there!