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Four Ways To Keep Kids Safe This Summer

Photo by: iStock

While summer is a time for us to be a bit more carefree, staying up late and sometimes having ice cream for dinner, it is also a time to be vigilant about child safety. Pools can be very dangerous and the littlest ones are susceptible to heat stroke and exhaustion dealing with the heat and humidity that summer can bring (I’m sure you agree with me on this one, fellow Midwesterners). Since we are like many other families that like to spend their summers out and about on adventures, I’m sharing four ways to keep kids safe this summer.

1. First off, having ample sunscreen and bug spray is a must for anyone this summer, especially kids. But with all of the chemicals and toxins that typical sunscreen and repellents may have, it is always important to check the labels to ensure that you are picking a safe product for your family. My friend Jenny, owner of the premier green beauty salon in Chicago, Noktivo, did all of the research for me and picked out the best green summer beauty products for families, which you can find here.

2. It is extremely important for everyone to stay hydrated during the summer, whether hanging out indoors or outdoors. Not a fan of drinking water? Then spice it up a bit! My favorite thing to do is to add herbed ice cubes to my water. Not only is it fun to grow my own herbs in the garden with my boys, but it is also a tasty way to ensure that I am staying healthy and hydrated during the dog days of summer.

3. Everyone loves splashing around in the water during the summer (and moms, feel free to rock those bikinis when you are at the beach, pool, or your own backyard!), but in all honesty it can be very dangerous. I can’t stress enough how important it is to expose your child to water in a safe way through swim lessons. Don’t know where to start when selecting swim lessons for your child? I have found that the water temperature makes a big difference for both child and parent (I mean, NO ONE wants to swim in frigid water) and that a well accredited swim school can make all the difference. Here are some more tips for picking out the perfect swim school for your family.

4. Lastly, most places our family will explore this summer are popular and tend to be packed. Carnivals, fests, the local pool …there are crowds EVERYWHERE. And if your child has a tendency to stray, the crowds can cause anxiety for parents (I know I’m not the only one). So before we head off on an adventure, we go through these steps:

Take a photo of your child that day. That way his or her outfit is documented just in case he or she goes missing…and who can resist being a momarazzi? I know I can’t.

Remind your kids that if they get lost, to look for “helpers.” We constantly use the term “helpers” to describe police, firefighters, and paramedics so that my kids know to go to them when they need help. If there aren’t any around, I advise my kids to look for another mommy who has kids with her. Chances are that mom will do anything in her power to help connect a lost child to his or her parent. I mean, wouldn’t you do the same?

Have a meeting spot. Choose a focal point that is easy to see from high up and low (I mean, your kids aren’t that tall, after all). If for some reason you get separated, that is the place you will meet.

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram,

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