The summer season is associated with days by the pool, summer camp
, and homework free evenings. But there are certain dangers that pose a threat to tweens. Here's your guide to keeping your preteen safe this summer so that you can truly enjoy those homework free nights.
Summer Safety and Tweens
Consider Outdoor Dangers
Sunburn, dehydration and insect bites are all potential summer hazards, but you can prevent these issues by preparing your tween ahead of time. Stock up on sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and keep insect repellent at the ready. Instruct your child on how to properly use the products, and be sure your tween also understands how important it is to stay hydrated in hot weather. You may even consider buying your child an insulated water bottle or two. In addition, be sure your child is a sound swimmer. If not, consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons at your local YMCA, parks and recreation center, or through your community pool.
Your child's summer safety skills should include knowing how to use a bike helmet and other safety equipment. Make sure your child understands the importance of wearing the proper safety equipment when biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading.
Preteens are old enough to know how to treat minor injuries and scrapes. Your local Red Cross chapter may offer first aid courses for children 11 and older, or check-out your local hospital to see if a first aid course is available for children. Once your child is properly trained, it's important he know where you keep your family first aid kit, and that he has permission to use it if he thinks it is necessary.
Consider Indoor Dangers
Childproof your home for your tween. Make sure alcohol is locked up, that the steps are kept free from clutter, and that prescription medications are safely tucked away. Also, remember to lock-up any weapons, such as guns, and program your satellite or cable box to block inappropriate programs.
Bullies Are Still a Problem
Summer safety concerns may include problematic relationships. Bullies don't disappear just because it's summer. Your child may encounter a bully at the community pool or at summer camp. Make sure your tween knows how to handle an aggressive peer
, and that he can always talk to you about any issues he might be having. Be aware of mood changes, or avoidance of activities
. If a bully is involved, it's important to act quickly.
Tweens Need Supervision
Your tween may be old enough and mature enough to stay home alone for an hour or two, but leaving your child home alone for the entire day may not be a good idea. If you work, be sure to make arrangements for your child. Consider hiring a teenage babysitter, or enrolling your tween in a summer day camp program. Seek your child's input before committing to a plan.
Beware Drugs and Other Dangers
They key to summer safety is knowing the potential dangers
ahead of time. Tweens are exposed to a variety of hazards, including smoking, alcohol and drugs. Talk with your child about these hazards, and role play what he'll say if a friend tries to convince him to engage in drugs, smoking or drinking. Know what's going on in your community by staying in touch with other parents, and be aware of any personality or mood changes in your child.
Know Whose Transporting Your Tween
Be sure you know who is transporting your tween to camp, summer school, the pool or other activities. Car accidents are the number one cause of tween deaths, and in many of those cases the driver involved is a teenager. Be sure you check with other parents so that you know who will be driving your child, and go over safety rules
, such as the importance of wearing a seat belt with your tween.