Have fun this summer & stay safe

Children can benefit by learning to swim to stay safe.

Every child ought to learn to swim. Photo from the City of Carson, Calif., Recreation Department

There’s still four to five weeks left of summer and enough time to get to some of the things on your “to do” list with the children. I hope teaching them to swim is on the list.

The leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in Massachusetts is drowning. WATCH THEM! Drowning is a silent death. They can slip under water and disappear in an instant. If you have a swimming pool in the backyard, the most dangerous pools are the ones with the house as the fourth wall.

Make sure every one of your children learns to swim and safe comfortable in the water. Otherwise non-swimmers must wear a life jacket at all times around water. Use life jackets like bike helmets — all ages wear them automatically.

Helmets make good sense. Upon purchasing a ski helmet, my brother Stephen said, “My head is my most valuable asset.” He’s right. Parents – model wearing helmets. Most bike fatalities are adults. Only one-seventh of the bike fatalities in the US were for youths under age 16. There’s a website dedicated to bike helmet safety. http://www.bhsi.org/index.htm

Wearing bike helmets falls under teaching children to make good decisions when you’re not around. When parents use natural and logical consequences that are respectful, related and reasonable (thanks Jane Nelsen Ph.D.), children learn the relationship between their decisions and the outcome. They learn to make good choices, an important life skill. We want teens to choose well when they’re 60 miles away going 60 miles an hour.

Partner with your young people to make good decisions together. Give tweens and teens a long leash if they’ve proved trustworthy. When asked, “Mom, can I take the MBTA to Harvard Square?” put it on the family meeting agenda and talk about the maturity needed for such an excursion.

Children are more likely to get struck by lightning than to be kidnapped and murdered by a stranger. The probability is one in 1.5 million. Most missing children have been abducted by an estranged parent, someone they know or have run away.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Have a family meeting and talk about safety and what they want to do as a family before school starts.

Here are some places to learn to swim around Lowell, Mass.

FREE lessons through the DCR – started today, July 26. Contact them to see if your child could sign up.

Aug 2-Aug. 31 Lowell YMCA

Fall lessons: UMass Lowell Recreation Center

Explore posts in the same categories: 60-60 theory, Family meetings, Make good decisions, natural and logical consequences, positive parenting

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One Comment on “Have fun this summer & stay safe”

  1. Casey Says:

    Man having kids sounds dangerous!

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