It is hard to believe that this is the final week of July! Yet even though August is around the corner, I’d like to share some nice reminders for continued enjoyment of days filled with sunshine, splashing and fun;
- Take a break. If you are like my family it has been a season of full steam ahead so far. Many of the summer sports events are winding down now and with that families will, hopefully, find that their schedules are not as tight as they were. Even very young children often are involved in organized events that require time and attention commitments. As often as possible just let kids play in the yard or take a walk with you. Keep special events family centered, casual and easy. As best as you can, help children enjoy some “lazy days of summer”.
- Keep a routine. Kids, like adults, often get cranky when they are overheated, off of their schedules or shuffled around and feel like they are in many directions. Children often want to stay up very late because of exciting events or guests at their homes. Sometimes they have a hard time sleeping on their schedule because the sun is still in the sky. Very young children thrive on routine and it takes them time to adjust to changes. Keep naps going as best you can, keep them in their own crib/bed in the evening and be prepared for bedtime if you are visiting or at an event; bring pjs, blankets, evening bottle and snack and favorite toy or lovie.
- Continue to be prepared for heat. Stock up on juicy fruits and crispy vegetables for the fridge. Fresh, cold water, easily accessible, is a must both indoors and out. Keep summer hats and visors ready as you walk out the door with children and always insist on sunscreen covering all exposed skin, even if you are only going to be outside for a while. Take a light cooler bag with you to the playground or beach to keep everyone hydrated. I found some easy, friendly smoothies and snacks ideas for both the backyard and the beach at parenting.com.
- Water safety. Children and water are natural partners. From the moment that they start to enjoy their daily bath, children will gravitate to water. Some of our favorite vacations are at the beach or include a pool. Sprinklers in the yard for toddlers on up and pools for early through expert swimmers are part of summer time. This natural fascination and interest in water play holds high responsibilities for adults. safekids.org reports this sobering fact; “Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old. Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathroom or a bucket.” This website also gives age by age tips for water safety and ideas for water fun.
- Travel with young children. Western New York is a fabulous spot for summer fun whether you travel to the waterfront or you travel for overnight stays in our many camps and recreational retreats. aap.org is one of my favorite sites offering extensive information on health and safety for young children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics website has Travel Safety Tips for families traveling with children on airplanes, internationally (we often forget in Buffalo that traveling to the beaches or theme parks in Canada is international travel) and traveling by car. There are links here to Healthy Children for car seat guidelines and to the CDC offering a “Travelers Health Kit.”
Enjoy the rest of this marvelous summer!
It will be winter far too soon!