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summer safety article
It’s summertime and your kids can’t wait to have a blast. As a parent, you want your kids to have fun as well, but need to make sure they’re safe. If your child engages in any of the common summer activities below, make sure to follow these safety tips.

1. Playing outside

Teach your child not to approach or talk to people you have not told them they can talk to. Educate them about luring techniques, such as a predator pulling up in a car pretending to be lost and asking for directions.

2. Playing at the park

If you’re with your child at the park you should be with your child at the park which means watching them – not starting down at your phone. Predators look to abduct children of distracted parents—not the child of an attentive parent.

3. Day camps

Teach your child to listen to their instincts and their feelings. If they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, encourage them to always communicate that with you.

4. Attending overnight camps

Make sure your child knows the difference between a secret and a surprise. Let them know that a secret is something that will not be revealed and a surprise is something that will eventually be revealed. Teach them that if someone tells them to keep a secret from their parents, they should always tell you.

5. Spending the night at a friend’s house

Parents—trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy then don’t be afraid to say no to your child spending the night; also, make sure to review safety tip 3 and 4 (see above) with your kids.

6. Amusement and water parks

These places can be huge and a common place for a child to get lost. Teach your child to stop and sit on the ground in the event they get separated from you. A child sitting on the ground will grab the attention of park security and minimize the amount of time it takes to reunite.

7. Fun centers

Make sure your child knows they’re not allowed to talk to anyone you have not told them they’re allowed to talk to. This includes anyone offering to buy them tokens, snacks, games, etc. Extending false kindness is a common tactic of predators.

8. Swimming

Create boundaries as to what is acceptable pool fun and what is not. For example, they need to know where they can jump and dive and where flips or running are allowed; also, make sure they know to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

9. Kids staying home

Make sure your kids know not to open the door if someone knocks. Make sure they know not to tell a caller that they’re home by themselves. With social media at their fingertips, they should not post that they’re home by themselves. Confirm they know how to use the phone (some kids don’t know how to use house phones and don’t realize they need to push the “talk” button) to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

reprinted with permission from Style Magazine
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