Catherine is one of our Community Counselors, but she also is a host family, hosting her second au pair. She recently shared advice for how to have a safe and healthy summer, and a great line for parents and au pairs to use when the kids start to protest a bit too much:
If you ask my children what they think their parent’s most important job is they’ll say, “to keep us safe and healthy.” We use that phrase to explain everything from why our daughter can’t cross the street alone to why our son needs to go to sleep at night. While our children have been known to roll their eyes when they hear it, this all-purpose phrase is one that explains a lot of our decisions as parents. We encourage our au pairs to use it as well.
Yesterday, my son was worried about his upcoming swimming lesson, and I heard our au pair tell him that he was going to be safe because that was her job. Immediately, he smiled and relaxed a bit, and while he was still worried, he knew that he was safe because his au pair was there to keep him out of harm’s way.
Summer can be a wonderful time of year full of adventure and fun, but it can also be a time when routines are unsettled and rules are relaxed. I encourage you to think about ways that you can keep your children safe and healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website has many excellent articles on how you can help your family have a wonderful and healthy summer. Below are some highlights with links to the full articles.
- Keep infants 6 months or younger out of direct sun
- Play outdoors in the early morning and limit your exposure to sun between 10 am and 4 pm
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply it often
- See more here
- Review swimming rules with your children
- Always make sure an adult who is able to swim is watching children when they are in the water
- Learn the signs of dry or delayed drowning
- See more here
Check out the website to read more about insects, heat safety, and more great advice for summer. And for more from Catherine and Au Pair in America in the D.C. area you can find her “cluster” blog here.