The Month of May Celebrates Safety, Sweet Dreams and Smiles

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Beth Pinyerd

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

By Beth Pinyerd

This school year has been different. I want to commend parents, educators and school staff for working so hard and being flexible in meeting the learning needs of our children. This school year has been good. We feel the hints of summer approaching even though summer does not come in until Sunday, June 20. 

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Have your child stay out of direct heat, try to find shade.

During late afternoon or evening hours make sure your child is properly sprayed with insect repellant. Follow the appropriate instructions of how to apply the repellant.

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.

In taking your child to playgrounds and parks during the summer, be sure that the sliding boards, swings and other equipment are not too hot for your child to play on.  Assess the general safety of the park before allowing your child to play.

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.

We all love to walk barefooted during the summer months. It is part of summer! But we have to be so careful where we walk in our yards, along beaches, beside lakes, ponds, streams, the ocean, etc.  It is best to leave the shoes on until you can assess the safety of an area. 

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.

As parents and early childhood teachers, we know firsthand the abundant amount of energy young children have. I love to look through their eyes because they don’t want to miss a thing. But when they finally wind down and drift off to sleep, it is so good all the way around. Getting enough sleep allows the body to rest and relax, prevents a lot of illnesses, and refuels our bodies for the next day. Here are a few helpful hints from resources and experience that I would like to share with the readers: 

– Prepare your infant for bedtime by rocking your child, playing soft music, hugging your child, and keeping events low-key before bedtime. I know first hand that children love to be softly sung to.

– Follow the same schedule or routine so your child knows bedtime is on its way. 

– With your young children develop a “going to bed” nightly tradition to set the sleep mood like lining up their toys, reading to your child a good bedtime story or singing or playing soft music. 

– When you slip out of the room, if your baby or young child cries, you can reassure them by softly talking to them. 

– Make sure noise disturbances are kept at a minimum from families and friends. 

– Check the room temperature and make sure it is not too cold or hot. 

– With infants and toddlers check on diaper changes or other physical needs during the night. 

– Be sure the pacifier is nearby if your young child needs this. 

– A soft night light keeps young children from being afraid of their surroundings. 

– An afternoon nap is good for infants, toddlers and older preschoolers. If your toddler or preschooler is resistant to actually taking a nap, just encourage them  to rest and do quiet activities.  

Smiles are contagious! When we smile at our young children they smile right back. This month is National Smile Month so get those cameras ready to make some happy memories with your young children. 

Beth Pinyerd Classroom Observer

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