Today I am participating in a Summer Blog Swap hosted by A Grande Life! I have the opportunity to have Stephanie from Mamma Bears World post some tips to keep your young children safe this summer. Enjoy!
It’s one of my recurring nightmares: losing a child. Have three very young children, I don’t have enough hands to hold everyone’s hand. We’ve worked out some great ways around this, such as having C (my oldest) hold the other side of the car seat carrier, or if we have the stroller both boys will hold the sides of the stroller, but you just never know if one might dart off quickly. Just like that a leisurely day at the mall or the zoo can turn to panic.
My anxiety is running a bit higher than normal with outdoor summer activities and adventures now in full-swing. Here are a few tips I am working on with my kids to keep us safe and get us prepared for all our summertime activities.
1. Know your address We started this last year when C was just 4 and B was 2. At nearly 5 years old, C totally has his address down. It’s great because 3 1/2 year old B has been listening to him practicing for a full year and he almost always gets his address correct too. At the very least, B knows his street name and town. We’re also working on learning landmarks for getting home such as the development name or turning at a house with the red door.
2. Know your phone number We live in the age where my husband and I have our own phone numbers, so learning the house phone number is useless in our lives. Gone are the days of learning only one phone number that is 7 digits long. We chose for the kids to learn my phone number since I’m the one with them the majority of the time. This is still tough for both boys, but we continue to try.
3. Take a Picture – On a recent trip to the zoo, I realized I was skipping a critical opportunity that would be helpful in the event I was separated from any of the children and needed the help of the venue to find them: my smartphone camera. From now on, whenever we go to a public place such as the zoo I’ll be taking a “going in” photo so that I have a picture of what they were wearing and looked like that day. So simple, and yet so important if needed.
4. Stranger Danger This is another one that we continue to work on. Last summer I realized we needed a little help on this front because my oldest was yelling out our front window to some workmen at the house next door that his name was C and he has a little brother named B and that they lived there. Um, yeah, even in our safe neighborhood this was a wake up call for me. He had no concept of stranger danger at all. We’ve since gone through some exercises where I let both the boys practice yelling as loud as they can “You’re not my Mommy/Daddy” if anyone tries to grab them.
5. Identify “safe” adults And Stranger Danger leads me to the question, what if they need help? They know there are only certain people they can go to for help, and only a select few people with whom they may get into a car. The boys already know that if there were ever an issue, they can go to my neighbor. She (or her husband) area also allowed to drive them in their car, pick them up, etc. We also talked about if we were separated in a store that they are to find someone that works at the store or a mom with kids. I’m drilling into their heads that they are to never, ever leave the store, even if someone says I did. They know Mommy would never leave the store without them and therefore they are never to leave the store without Mommy.
Safety is always a work in progress, but I hope some of the tips I am implementing may help you enjoy adventures with your children this summer!
Stephanie is mom to three young children ages 5, 3 and 7 months. She’s currently juggling swim lessons, naptimes and dealing with two very picky eaters, and is often found with a caffeinated beverage at hand to keep her going. Stephanie can be found blogging about her day-to-day adventures at Mamma Bear’s World. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.