Ahhhh, summer along the Gulf Coast of Florida. It’s hot (duh). But gorgeous. And when I’m not working, that means I’m probably:
- at the beach
- at the pool
- at the playground
I am a Pisces and absolutely live up to the “water baby” association. I’m happiest when I have my toes in the sand or my butt on a boat, and absolutely love being outside as much as possible.
Now that I have a toddler tornado, summer safety takes on a new meaning, though. As you may remember, we enrolled her in ISR lessons when she was less than two years old (traumatic as the photos may appear, I know she learned some life-saving skills). Now that she’s more mobile, it’s even more important for us to take the proper precautions around the water.
Additionally, despite the fact that I’m a former lifeguard, certified in adult/pediatric CPR and first aid, accidents happen. I still get chills when I think about the worst 60 seconds of my life, and how different the outcome could have been.
So, when Shriners Hospitals for Children® invited me out to their Tampa location to learn and spread the word about their On Track for a Safe Summer program, I was really excited to join in. June is National Safety Month, and they put together a really fun program (and getting to see their work up close and personal really impacted me in a positive way).
They had special stations set up, and since Audrey was in school for the day, I borrowed some of the kids who came with parents, or patients who came down to the “fishbowl” to check out the activities. Each station had a tip and a game — so to learn about proper lifejacket safety, there were lifejackets to try on (mine did not fit, so I was a lesson in what not to do).
At the fire safety table, we got to put on our Fire Chief hats and learn about how to stay safe around open flames.
(I’ll admit it did make me crave some s’mores.)
Fun and games aside, it’s chilling to learn that summer is known to medical professionals as “trauma season” because the number of injuries and unintentional deaths go way up among children during the summer months. It’s so hard to think that one small mistake — one moment of not watching our kids — could be tragic.
It’s also really wonderful to see what Shriners Hospitals for Children® has in place in the event of an emergency, and they provide the services regardless of a family’s ability to pay. I was surprised, frankly, at how welcoming and kid-friendly the entire building was, and how charming all of the staff were. I hope to never have to bring my children here for treatment, but I very much appreciate that they do what they do.
So, a few tips to share with your families:
- At the playground, swing sitting down! And if you go on the side, remember that it’s one child at a time, feet first.
- Always swim with an adult or friend — even if you’re a super strong swimmer, you need a buddy. You could get a cramp, find yourself in a dangerous current, injure yourself on a shell or rock, lose your breath or run into a creature. So don’t take the risk.
- If you’re near the water, especially on a boat or dock, WEAR A LIFE JACKET. Audrey has a small one ready for her when we visit my parents’ house in Maine this summer, and everyone who boards the boat has to wear one as well. No excuses. No exceptions.
- Never play on or around lawn mowers, fire pits, campfires or grills.
- Wear sunscreen even if you’re only spending a little bit of time outside — the rays can find you fast!
For additional safety tips and activity pages for children, visit this link. I’ve printed some of the pages out for Audrey, so she can color and have fun but learn a few safety tips along the way.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children®. For more on my disclosure policy, head here!