With Easter behind us we are now all looking forward to the May Bank Holidays and of course a sunny ! summer half term. This is only a few weeks away .. but, with excitable children, you need to make sure they are safe in what they do and where they play ; this is often easier said than done. Here are some top tips on how you can keep them safe over half term, no matter what your plans.
Beware of Pollen Warnings
Summer may bring brilliant weather, but the dreaded pollen comes along with it. We’ve already had our first pollen warning of the year, one that warns that June will see the highest level of pollen for the past 50 years. Sadly, the influence of pollen and hay fever can ruin even the most intricately planned half term ventures and, because of this, you have to be constantly aware of the impact it can have.
It is estimated that hay fever affects around 14,000,000 people in the UK and, because there are over 30 symptoms, it takes many different forms. Due to this, if you’re planning to go away over half term, it is vital that you take every step possible to protect your children from high pollen levels. Check online with the Met Office for pollen levels, and ensure you always carry antihistamine. This way, even if they do start to struggle, you have the medicine on hand to stop it taking effect immediately.
Make Car Safety the Priority
Car safety is something that is tragically overlooked by some people. However long it takes to make your child safe in a car- and making sure that child seats are properly installed- is time well spent and the knowledge that they are safe on every journey far outstrips the regret of being 10 minutes late to your destination.
A child’s physical safety isn’t the only element that you should focus on, and you must also consider their internal health. The Labour Party recently tabled an amendment that would make smoking in a car with children illegal.
Research undertaken in 2009 shows that the level of second hand smoke in a stationary car is 11 times greater than the level that would be found in a smoky bar and that, even if you leave a window open, smoke can linger for four hours. To put in into perspective, second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and 350,000 children go to visit a GP because of the effects of second hand smoke every year.
As a show of wide-ranging support, even AA Cars have backed the amendment, with their president stating that “Now we know the risks from passive smoking, we would urge all drivers to stub it out… [as well as health risks] the resale value of your car can also be cut by 10% because it smells of smoking”. In all aspects, not smoking seems like the only option to make sure your children are safe this half term.
Establish a Routine for Playtime
Even if you’re not going away this half term, you still need to be aware of safety in the immediate area. Children thrive from structure and, if they’re playing out, you should pay close attention to how they will communicate with you in a safe manner. By keeping them in a routine, they will adapt back to the school routine quickly too, and will also learn about independence. Setting strict curfews and boundaries for them may seem as though you’re mothering them too closely, but it is essential for ensuring they’re safe. As well as this, it will prompt them to be self-serving, monitoring their time and acting on it. In many ways, this is the best form of safety, as it forces a child to think of their own safety constantly, helping them learn an invaluable life skill.
Happy half term!