In a few short weeks the first signs of spring will appear. Pussy willows will begin to sprout their furry little buds. Daffodils will pop up. Ants will begin crawling and flies will awaken. One of the sure signs of spring is that your child’s spring clothing looks like you left it in the hot cycle too long. Pants appear to be at the length for the next flood. While we were paying our higher gas bills and shoveling snow — our beloved children were growing. Because of this growth in size and socially and emotionally, it is time for a safety check.
Because you will be frequenting the playgrounds more, do not assume that they have been attended to over the winter. Look for loose nuts and bolts, loose swings, splinter areas and bee hives and snake nests. Beware of uncovered sand boxes–they function as fun litter boxes for feral cats. Remind your child about playground safety– don’t walk in front of swings, keep a safe swinging height, and watch the climbing equipment.
Over the winter your shy, clinging child has become a social butterfly. Remind children not to interact with strangers, allow strangers to take your child’s picture, or encourage your child to interact with people in stores and out and about. The stories of young children being stalked by individuals is all too often in the news. When a stranger speaks to your child–step in–tell that person that your child cannot discriminate between safe and harmful people so you do not encourage your child to talk to people not known. As a preschool teacher, I am drawn to young children but I have checked my interactions and just give a smile.
Talk to your child about unattended dogs. A child should not try to interact with attended or unattended dogs. If your child is chased–encourage your child to drop and cover his face–do not run.
Avoid yellow and orange clothing outdoors and scents in hair and on the body–it encourages insects such as bees and mosquitoes.
Check all safety equipment for sports. Make sure all helmets fit properly. Make sure last year’s bike allows for the correct pedaling position. If your child engages in spring sports make sure coaches are qualified and use proper language and discipline with the team. Make sure the program holds liability insurance on the program and staff.
Enjoy spring. Your child is in a new stage of growth. It is a great science time. Look for signs of spring everywhere. Begin a garden.
Ah spring–my favorite sign is that pitchers and catchers have reported. I know for sure warmer days are just around the corner.
Happy Spring, all.