Photo via Pixabay by Unsplash
The summer months are often the best ones for kids and teens, as the season gives them the chance to relax after a long school year, stay up late, and spend time with friends. However, the warmer days can also be some of the most worrisome for parents, so it’s important for everyone in the family to have rules for safety and to keep communication open.
The good news is that these days, technology has made it easier than ever for kids and parents to keep in touch with one another. Whether they’ll be going out on the town with friends or taking a road trip for the weekend, here are some of the best tips for staying safe in the summer.
Teens should always keep their cell phone charged (or keep a car charger handy) and bring along some cash in case of emergency. You can also set up an Uber account for them with your credit card number so they’ll always be able to get a safe ride home.
Take a friend
Young people are much safer in public when they are with a friend. Teens should stick together at clubs and watch out for one another. This includes not letting a friend leave their drink unattended and never letting them go home or to a secluded place with someone they don’t know well. All teens should keep in mind that drunk driving is not only illegal, it puts innocent people at risk, too. If you’re a parent, talk to your teenager about drinking when they go out and let them know that if they get into a situation where they’ve had too much to drink, calling for a safe ride won’t get them into nearly as much trouble as driving while under the influence will.
Pokemon Go is a huge phenomenon lately, and while it’s a fun, safe game for kids and teens to play, they should always make sure they’re not wandering onto private property, secluded areas, or into areas with heavy traffic. We are all capable of getting involved in our phone’s screen and putting ourselves in danger, so sticking together in groups of at least two will help with safety.
Walking at night requires some safety rules, as well; teens should never walk alone unless it’s absolutely necessary, and should keep their phone and car keys at the ready if they are walking through a parking lot or garage.
Practice online safety
This is where good communication comes in. With all the various apps and social media sites out there, it’s important for parents to be involved in their teen’s life and know what sites they use most often and who they talk to on a regular basis. Teens should never meet up with someone they only know through social media or give out any personal information. Make sure your child is aware that there are predators who pose as other people online.
Because summer is the time to relax, many kids take the opportunity to move away from their normal routines and plaster themselves to the couch for television time. That’s okay in moderation, but it’s important to get up, get out, and get some exercise. Even if it’s only a couple of days a week, and even if it’s only to catch Pokemon, it’s better than nothing.
It’s also important for kids of all ages to get enough sleep. Staying up late in summer can take a toll physically and mentally, so getting them in bed at a reasonable hour is a good idea. Staying away from screens for an hour or so before bedtime can help them get better rest, as well.