Safety for a good old summertime


We are coming to the end of a good school year! Even though summer’s official entrance is not until June 21,  one can feel the seasonal summer heat, smell the honeysuckle flowers, listen to the katydids at night and listen to the dry wind rustling through the leaves on a summer evening as everything becomes a slight cooler.  As a child, I knew summertime had arrived when my mom and dad turned on the attic fan, a young child’s heaven on a hot summer night after an evening bath or shower.  Air conditioning had not arrived during the time I was growing up.  The breeze on a summer night was our natural air conditioning. We all experience that “kick back, carefree” mood especially among our children because we are not having to stay on a schedule or having to go to school.  In the column today I’d like to share some summer safety tips as we embark on summer fun!
We want to have fun in the sun during the summer but we need to use safety precautions in protecting our children. Here are a few summer safety tips as you take care of your little ones during the summer:

  1. Be sure to apply the appropriate sunscreen to your child.  Each child requires a different scale of protection according to the color of their skin and their age.  When moms leave young children in my care, I request sunscreen which the parents or I apply 20 to 30 minutes ahead of outside fun time.  When your child is swimming or running through the sprinkler be sure to reapply the sunscreen at intervals when they get in and out of the water.  Take time to evenly apply as well as well covering spots that may burn.
  2. When children are running and playing outside in the heat it is so important for them to be dressed appropriately with light colored and light weight clothing.  Clothing should allow the child to be cool.  During these summer months “sweating” is characteristic of a summer day!  Children love to run and play different games and activities.  When your little one gets really wet with sweat, be sure to change them into dry clothes.
  3. In preventing heat stress in children be sure he/she is very well-hydrated.  Encourage your child to drink as much water, juices, and different flavored drinks as possible.  We do not want our children to become dehydrated.
  4. Have your child or children play quiet inside games, rest, read, look at appropriate programs on television, video, or DVD during the heat of the day.
  5. Have your child stay out of direct heat, try to find shade.
  6. During late afternoon or evening hours make sure your child is properly sprayed with insect repellant. Follow the appropriate instructions of how to apply on the repellant.
  7. When you are doing summer mowing be sure your child stays at a safe distance from the lawn mower in that a mower could kick up a rock or stick.
  8. In taking your child to playgrounds and parks during the summer, be sure that the sliding boards, swings, and other equipment is not too hot for your child to play on. 
    Assess the general safety of the park before allowing your child to play.
  9. Parents please remember to put helmets on your child when they are riding their bicycles.  Go over safety rules your child needs to follow in riding their bicycles.  Properly supervise them.
  10. I’d like to relate an experience this Classroom Observer mom had with her son.  When my child was walking along the bay shore, a catfish barb punctured his big toe.  It took surgery to remove it.  Parents be sure your children walk in safe areas along the bay, lakes, ponds, and ocean shores. Too, this can be just in or yards.  So many times sharp shells, barnacles, trash, sand spurs, glass, in the grass can badly cut the toes and feet of your child.  It might be better to leave the shoes on until you can assess the safety of the area.
  11. Try to always have a first aid kit with you to pack basic supplies you will need before going swimming, playing, picnicking and having plain old summer fun outdoors.
    I hope these guidelines will gently remind you of summer safety tips so you and your child can fully enjoy the seasonal favorites of summer!
    Happy summer practicing safety!
    Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at


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