By Kim Estes

 Summer is nearly here. Yet the weather can be fickle one moment offering us a promise of summer with a warm sunny day or bringing us rain clouds that seem more like we are in October still. As our days grow longer and the weather eventually gives way to sunny skies, we will be drawn to the outdoors and all the great adventures that summer has to offer. This is a great time to look at how your family’s safety needs have changed since last summer and begin to talk with your children about summer safety.

 Ages 2-5

  • Practice learning their phone number in case they get lost or separated from you
  • Practice finding a safe mom (or other grown up) with kids if they need assistance
  • Remind kids to make sure they have their safe grown up with them when talking to new people!

 Age 6-9

  • Review healthy boundaries and let them know that is it is OK to say “NO!” if someone is making them uncomfortable.
  • Remind them to check in before taking off around the block on their bike or skateboard.
  • Talk about who the safe grown ups are in their life

 Ages 10-13

  • Start looking at their readiness to stay home alone for short periods of time
  • If you are considering a cell phone for your child, summer is a great time to “practice” having this new tool and it will also allow for some of the novelty to wear off before school begins in the fall.
  • Remind them to take a buddy with them when they are out and about in the neighborhood.

 As always, continue to keep the conversation going with your kids and never use scare tactics when talking about safety. Keeping the conversation simple and short is best.