Summer: it’s the time of year you and your children look forward to the most. It’s a time for relaxation, adventure, and quality bonding time. Before you start packing your bags for your first excursion, it’s important to make sure your bases are covered regarding safety. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe and prepared this summer:
1. Establish ground rules
Before setting off for your vacation, take the time to sit down and have a family discussion to establish guidelines. These could include: never venturing from your hotel, resort, or campsite without notifying an adult; setting a curfew for your older children who may be exploring on their own; and establishing a time for check-in calls in case your family decides to split up.
2. Teach your children about “stranger danger”
If you haven’t already spoken to your younger children about stranger danger, now is as good a time as ever to tackle this talk. One of the most important tips to remember is to teach your children the difference between safe and unsafe strangers.
Safe strangers, for example, are teachers, principals, police officers, firefighters, and other public service members. Teach your children that they are allowed to speak to these people and ask for their help in case you are separated or are faced with an emergency situation.
Unsafe strangers are the adults who try to lure your children away from you or the other members of your family — typically by offering them candy, asking for help in finding their lost dog, and other various scenarios. Make sure your kids know to respond in such situations. The National Crime Prevention Council recommends they follow the “No, Go, Yell, Tell” formula, which includes telling the stranger no, running away, yelling as loudly as they can, and telling a trusted adult about the situation.
3. Prepare a timeline or itinerary
Whenever you leave town for an extended period of time, it’s wise to create a physical timeline of your trip — including your expected departure and arrival dates and times. Make a copy of your itinerary and share it with a close friend or family member. That way, somebody else knows where you are at all times and can act accordingly if you aren’t responding to their phone calls and texts or are late in arriving home.
Find more tips for pulling off the perfect family vacation here.