Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer
One summer, when I was little, my family traveled to Lake Powell to meet up with my mom's side of the family for a week at the lake. We had so much fun! Swimming in the lake with cousins, building sand castles, burying each other in the sand, riding jet skis, and (of course) eating yummy summer snacks̵—it was such a fun trip! But it wasn't all fun in the sun, because one day while we were out on the lake, we noticed a storm coming in. We tried to make it back to the marina, but the storm came faster and more intense than anyone expected—even those who had been boating on Lake Powell for years and knew how fast a bad storm could blow in.
There were many moments we didn't think we would actually make it back to the marina without an accident. The boat I was in was being moved by the wind and waves, and it was swaying so far to the side we were sure it would tip. And as if that wasn't enough, the wind was blowing so strong that it was actually picking the boat up off of the water by the fabric canopy that was designed to protect us from the sun. What we had lovingly referred to as "the party barge" throughout our trip, quickly turned into the exact opposite. And my brothers and cousins who were driving the jet skis told us that the visibility was so poor and the waves so high, that they would often go under the water and be unable to see for a while. Then they would finally break through a wave and be able to catch a quick view of the way they needed to go before being submerged again.
After what felt like forever, we finally made it safely back to shore without any injuries. This was definitely due, in large part, to the fact that I was with people who were very capable of driving a boat in even the poorest conditions. They were prepared and worked together to keep our boat from capsizing and to keep us safe. I'll always remember that trip—mostly all of the fun we had with our family. But I'll also never forget how amazingly fast danger can arise. One minute, you can be having fun and relaxing, and the next minute you can be fearing for your life. There are so many dangers that can arise during your summer adventures, and it's so important to be as prepared as possible to handle anything that might come your way, so you can continue making happy memories with your little ones. Here are a few things you can do this summer to keep you and your little ones safe and happy!
1. Protect Your Skin
Every summer, I forget to wear sunscreen at least once, and of course (since I have, as my hair stylist friend says, the skin of a redhead) I get a sunburn. Then I get a little smarter, buy a new bottle of sunscreen and actually start using it. I really don't know why I have to learn this same lesson over and over again, but hey, at least I'm much better about taking care of my little boy's skin! Right? He also has a really cute sun hat that he wears when we're at the lake. And I'm so glad that he loves wearing a rash guard with his swimming suit, because it's such an easy way to protect his skin!
2. Avoid Heat Exhaustion
My little boy and I got in the car the other day, and since it had been sitting in the sun, it had definitely warmed up a bit. While I definitely wasn't comfortable in our hot car and immediately turned on the air conditioner, my little boy was absolutely miserable! And since I'm a pacific northwest native, I HATE the heat, so it's amazing that I was only a little bit uncomfortable while he was absolutely miserable. But this was a good reminder for me that my son's little body just can't handle the heat as well as an adult body. So as the weather gets warmer, we also have to be extra careful that our little kids don't get overheated! Other than jumping in the lake to cool off or finding some shade or an air-conditioned room, one of the best ways to cool off is to drink some cold water or eat a refreshingly cold popsicle or another frozen treat! I also love the idea of keeping a few cold packs on hand for your little one to hold or place on the back of their neck.
3. Protect Your Feet
The other day, I was helping my little boy get his socks on when I noticed that the bottoms of his feet were peeling! It took a second, but I finally realized that this is happening because he just started wearing his summertime flip-flops. Since they aren't the most high-quality sandals and because his little feet aren't used to wearing shoes without socks right now, it's been a huge adjustment for those soft, little feet. So I need to get him some good, comfortable summer shoes that will protect his feet! I love buying SaltWater Sandals for my little boy (and for me!) because they're cute and comfortable, can be worn on every adventure (even in the water), and they're so durable that they can even last through multiple summers and multiple kids! And these cute Native Shoes are definitely going on our list for this summer!
4. Opt for a Smoother Ride
If you plan to go running with your kiddos this summer, you'll definitely want to invest in a jogging stroller! In addition to having a fixed front wheel that doesn't swivel at higher speeds, the added suspension makes for a much smoother and more comfortable ride for your little one! Although it's tempting to use a normal stroller when you want to go for a run, jogging strollers are actually designed to decrease the bumps your child will experience, keeping your kiddo safe and comfortable! Even if you're not a runner, but you want a stroller with added suspension so you can use it for all kinds of summertime activities and on a variety of terrains, you might want to check out two of our favorite jogging strollers, the Bumbleride Speed and BOB Flex jogging strollers.
5. Protect Your Ears
I would guess that most parents often forget about ear protection when they're planning summertime adventures, but some of our favorite summer activities (such as fireworks, concerts, and even mowing the lawn), can actually be extremely dangerous to our little one's ears! Fireworks alone often exceed 150 decibels and sometimes reach 175 decibels, and the World Health Organization recommends that children not be exposed to sounds louder than 120 decibels. That means this Fourth of July your little ones could be exposed to sounds that are 50 decibels louder than their little ears can handle, which can result in temporary hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or even permanent hearing loss! To avoid this, check out these BANZ Infant Earmuffs and BANZ Kids Earmuffs, that are designed specifically to protect your little one's sensitive ears!
I hope you have some really fun summer adventures planned! I know my little family is so excited to get outside and enjoy the sun (with SPF, of course!) this summer, and this Memorial Day weekend has been such a fun little teaser of all of the adventures ahead! Now I just need to find the perfect summertime bag to carry all of our summer essentials!
Written by: Angela Walston