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While your children may look forward to summer vacation all year long, parents may find it difficult to deal with the added stress of worrying about how to keep your children safe when they have no set schedule, and a higher level of freedom throughout the day. How do you go about your day-to-day lives and keep your normal work schedule, while at the same time knowing your children are safe and cared for?
In order to keep your children safe during the summer it is important for parents to stay on top of organization, and keep all lines of communication open with your children, as well as everyone who may be caring for them during these months. This way you can stay on top of things, and have a better handle on any issues that may come up, which in turn can help you to have better peace of mind and clarity while you are at work.
Talk to Your Children About Safety
It is important to talk to all children, regardless of whether an adult will be with them, or if they are older and will be on their own, on the topic of home security. They should have a clear idea of what to do if there is a fire; what items they are not allowed to use, such as the stove; not to open the door for anyone, or talk to strangers; and, for those who still have a landline, whether or not they should answer the phone. While it is a good idea to not allow your children to answer the phone, having a simple script available for them to follow could be a good idea in case they are expecting a call from a friend, babysitter, or yourself, and need to answer the phone.
Hire a Babysitter
You know your child best. Whether or not they feel they are too old for a babysitter, some children may not be at the maturity level to stay home alone. As such, hiring a babysitter to stay with your children during the day may be helpful so that you know they are being well taken care of while you cannot be with them. A quick online search can help you judge whether or not your child needs a sitter. Some states suggest a sitter until at least age nine.
If you do not already have a sitter you can call, ask around for recommendations. While some parents may not be willing to give away their sitter, others only use a sitter on special occasions, but may really like them, and are willing to send more business their way. In addition, teachers and teaching assistants oftentimes babysit during the summer break to make extra money, so asking around at your child's school can be a great resource. If your child will be going to a pool, or if you have a pool at your home, finding someone who is certified in CPR can be especially helpful.
After you have found a suitable sitter, make sure to have all your important phone numbers posted clearly in your home in case of emergency, as well as how long you will be at work, and any important house rules that should be followed in your absence. Additional information such as nap times, bed times, allergies, or anything else should also be posted.
Make sure to give your sitter a tour of your home, so that they know where important items, such as diapers, wipes, or the fire extinguisher, are located.
Have a Plan
In order to ensure the safety of everyone that will be in your home, lock up all your weapons, and make sure your child is aware of how to be safe while in the kitchen especially. It may be a good idea to become more aware of your child's social life, so that you know more about their friends and who they are spending time with.
While summer is a fun, laidback time, it can be more so with some extra planning on your part!