Warmer weather has finally arrived, which means kids will want to spend more time outside. But in the era of coronavirus, we’ve got to be extra careful about getting our kids outdoors. Here are a few tips for parents and other caregivers to help make this spring and summer a safe one so the whole family can avoid emergencies and keep the focus on fun.
Home Safe Home
In today’s climate, most kids probably spend the majority of their time in your yard when they’re outdoors, so safety should start there. One way to keep kids protected on your property is by working to minimize mosquitoes there. Eliminating standing water that may be collecting in containers and other areas will give the pests fewer places to lay their eggs.
You can also use natural pesticides instead of chemical compounds to keep other insects away. And there are many mixtures you can make on your own with common household products. For instance, you can whip up a hot pepper spray that keeps the bugs away from plants by pulverizing a couple of raw, spicy peppers, a clove of garlic, a large onion, and a little water into a mash with your food processor. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours in a bowl with a gallon of hot water. You can then strain the liquid into a spray bottle and dose plants as needed and spread the pepper concoction around the base of any outdoor plants that could use an added layer of all-natural armor.
And, if you’re growing a garden, using chemical-free pesticides has the added advantage of making the nutritious foods you are nurturing even healthier for your family. Plus, putting together a family garden can cultivate much more than fresh fruits and vegetables. Letting kids see how food goes from the dirt to the dinner table can make them more adventurous eaters when it comes to fruits and veggies. Encouraging kids to help out in the garden will also teach them to appreciate their bodies for the physical work they can do. Eating healthy food and getting active in your yard will also make them feel good physically, which is good for building body positivity that will last all year long.
Staying Sun Safe and Water Aware
With any outdoor activity, adults and kids alike should protect themselves from heat-related illness when the temperature climbs. Schedule gardening sessions and other activities, particularly if they are strenuous, for cooler hours in the mornings and evenings, wear weather-appropriate clothing that helps protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, stay hydrated, and slather sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF on yourself and your young ones before heading outside, according to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And be sure to reapply sunscreen at regular intervals. If you have a pool, you can also help keep kids safe by learning CPR and teaching them proper swimming technique and water safety. Learning to swim properly can protect kids from drowning, which takes the lives of three American children every day.
Get Good Gear
Similarly, kids should wear the right safety gear for other activities including biking and skateboarding. In fact, cyclists of all ages should wear helmets when biking, opting for a brightly colored helmet that is well ventilated and properly fitted. Along those same lines, bright or fluorescent clothes make cyclists more visible on the road, and lightweight fabrics will help keep them from overheating. And kids who skateboard should have a helmet specifically designed with that activity in mind, so make an investment in your children’s safety by buying the right gear and making sure they use it correctly and consistently. Remember that if you do venture outside your yard, be sure to practice social distancing.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, we have to be extra careful about getting our kids outside. These simple strategies can help keep kids safe this spring and summer and allow you to concentrate on making memories rather than attending to scrapes, sunburns, or more serious injuries.