Two girls enjoy the water on floats.

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Summer Safety: 7 Ways to Make Sure Kids Have a Safe, Enriching Summer

Social distancing, sun protection, water safety and more
Priscilla Greear
Monday, June 21, 2021

With summer on the horizon, many children are eager to ditch the masks, let loose and camp, play and chill like it's 2022. But vaccinated or not, parents must ensure that their children play it safe whether online or at the pool. By taking sensible precautions, they can have the most refreshing, productive and healthiest summer recreation possible and recharge their spirit in those eternal sunshine (and tropical storm) months of June, July and August.

Grab the Mask for Real Life Camp: Because vaccines are not yet authorized for children of all ages, prevention measures such as mask-wearing and physical distancing must continue even after camp employees are vaccinated, reports a CNN article on CDC guidelines. “With few exceptions, ‘all people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times’” except eating, drinking or swimming, it says. It also states that activities should take place outside as much as possible and to avoid close contact or indoor sports. Miami-Dade County Summer Camps range from sports and arts and crafts to Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion at miamidadeparks.com/FL/Miami-dade-county-parks-recreation/catalog. Also, visit summer305.dadeschools.net or www.The ChildrensTrust.org/SummerCamps.

Drink the Sunshine Responsibly: Another CNN sun safety article advises to rely on safe sun practices first. “Covering your skin, wearing hats, avoiding the midday sun and being careful about kids because of their increased susceptibility are good choices.” The article “Summer Safety Tips” recommends sunglasses for babies and children with 100 percent UV protection and when outside drink plenty of water even when not thirsty. Also, experts say to use broad-spectrum” which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Swim Smarter: The CDC’s “Keep Kids Safe This Summer” advises parents to closely supervise children in or near water at all times. It recommends all ages should wear life vests while boating and young children should wear life jackets when playing in or near water. And pools should have a four-foot high, self-latching fence. Check out The Children’s Trust Water Watchers page for more tips.

Log into World Wide Wonders: At home, limit (or zap!) the TikTok and have children engage in safe, enriching online learning. The Miami Herald lists various digital camps from Perez Art Museum’s “PAMM in the Neighborhood” to the Frost Young Musicians’ Virtual Summer Camp. Outschool.com offers myriad classes from karate to cooking to drawing, with free classes for families needing financial support. There’s Summer Battle of the Books at StayHome.Miami/Battle and also free tutoring on Saturdays through the Miami-Dade Public Library System. Parents can learn how everyday activities can aid children in learning at Ready, Set, Go Miami!

Be a Parental Safety Patrol: Actively monitor kids' activities online starting with screen time. Consider child filters such as Net Nanny or Circle.

Play Wisely: Make sure children are playing in equipment for their age, cover any sharp edges and exposed bolts with rubber, and always supervise them, states Seattle Children’s Summer Safety Tips. And make sure kids wear their helmet while on bike, scooter, skateboard or roller blades.

Zip It and Skip the Flips: “Trampoline Safety: 22 Tips and Cautions” on healthline.com states that trampolines should have a closed safety net and are not advised for kids under six --and never do flips. Remember these on those summer trips to SkyZone, Trampoline High, Launch and other trampoline parks.