Spotlight on End of Summer Safety Tips Before Back to School
Summer is winding down for school students across the Upper Cumberland. In these last lazy days of summer parents, caregivers, educators, and children need to remember all the safety rules that have kept them safe.
For a great update on ways to keep kids safe join WCTE’s Get Ready To Learn host Cindy Putman and Putnam County Health Department Public health educator Kayla French as they offer some safety and stress tips and advice. Kayla also shares her expertise about yoga for kids and her experience with students at the recent Putnam County Schools Leaps Camp.
Yoga for Kids
Yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and kids are a perfect match. Here is what children (and adults!) can learn from yoga:
Yoga teaches us about our bodies. When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.
Yoga teaches us how to breathe better. When we breathe deeply and fully and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.
Yoga teaches us how to use our energy more effectively. When we practice yoga, we learn how to use the life force energy in our bodies (called prana) to feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated.
Yoga teaches us how to quiet the mind. When we practice yoga, we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions.
Yoga teaches us about balance. When we practice yoga, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.
Yoga teaches us to be the “boss” of our bodies. Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain. (We will talk about how to modify poses in a later section.)
Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves. Yoga is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. And teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep
Summer issues that parents and children may encounter across the Upper Cumberland:
Ticks are responsible for a variety of illnesses including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These diseases can be very serious. Learn ways to protect your family.
Some suggestions include:
- protective clothing (long sleeves, long pants, tucking pants into socks)
- tick/bug repellant
- insect repellant for pets
- staying in the center of paths, keeping away from overgrown areas and not sitting directly on the ground
- performing tick checks on all family members every day
- being aware of signs/symptoms of tick-related illnesses
- calling the doctor for any concerns and questions
- An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is "on wheels." This means bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, skateboards and more!
- The helmet must fit properly.
- Helmets can be life saving and can protect a child from serious injury.
- Be sure the right type of helmet is being used. For example, a bike helmet needs to be used for biking.
- Moms and dads should wear helmets as well.
- Teach children to walk, not run, across the street.
- Children should cross only with an adult or an older, responsible child.
- Whenever crossing the street, try to make eye contact with any drivers nearby, to be sure they see you.
- Teach children to avoid running out from between parked cars.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible.
- Always hold your child’s hand near any moving or parked vehicles.
- Adults always need to set a good example!
- Adult supervision is of paramount importance. Parents need to focus on their children 100% of the time. No distractions!
- Practice "touch supervision" (a term used by the American Academy of Pediatrics). This means that at all times, the supervising adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched, when near or in the water.
- Remember, no child or adult is "drown proof."
- Keep in mind that children can drown in many different water sources including: bathtubs, toilets, buckets, baby pools, backyard swimming pools, community pools, streams, creeks, lakes, rivers, oceans and other places.
- Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours (10 AM – 6 PM).
- Wear protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (with 99-100% UV protection).
- Sunscreen is a must (on sunny and cloudy days)! Look for products with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15 (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Association of Dermatology).
- Sunscreen should be applied liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapplied every two hours or sooner if swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Look for shade whenever possible.
Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac
- It's the oil from the leaves of these plants that cause the potential allergic reaction.
- Consider wearing protective clothing to help decrease the amount of exposed skin.
- Learn how to recognize what poison ivy, oak and sumac look like, so that they can be avoided.
- Avoid bushy, overgrown areas and places which may contain these plants. Try to stay on paths.
Summer First Aid Kit
- Every family should have at least one first aid kit at home which is well stocked and readily accessible.
- It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and one to bring on trips.
- Kids get lots of cuts and scrapes during the warm summer months, so it’s nice to be prepared.
- Don’t forget to restock the kit once an item has been used.
- Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers where they are easy to find. This list should include: emergency medical services (911), the doctor’s number, the dentist’s number, poison control, a number where mom and/or dad can be reached and any other important phone numbers.
Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses
- Keeping well hydrated is very important.
- Children (and adults) must remember to drink.
- Do not wait until a child says he is thirsty before offering fluids. At this point, he is already dehydrated, so be sure to provide plenty of fluids before going outside, while out in the heat and afterwards.
- Playing in the hot summer sun means lots of fluid losses, so avoid strenuous activity during peak sun hours (10 am- 6 pm). Look for shade and take lots of breaks.
- Seek medical attention immediately for any signs of heat-related illness.
- Never let children near the grill. Remember, it can remain very hot even after it is no longer being used.
- Be sure to check the internal temperature of foods on the grill, to be sure everything has been cooked appropriately.
- If picnicking outdoors, avoid leaving out foods that require refrigeration and/or foods that can quickly spoil.
Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.