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WCSO Summer Safety Guide

Stay safe and worry-free this summer with our essential tips on water safety, travel safety, and home alone safety for kids.
Blog post

Welcome to our summer safety guide blog post, where we are excited to provide you with essential tips and insights from WCSO on how to have a safe and enjoyable summer season. In this three-part series, we will delve into important topics such as water safety, travel safety, and home alone safety for kids who may find themselves spending time at home unaccompanied during the summer break. Join us as we explore strategies for a fun and secure summer for you and your loved ones.

Home Alone Safety

With summer break approaching, you may be wondering if your child is old enough to stay home alone. This question is challenging because it depends on the child's maturity. Ask yourself these questions to help inform your decision:

  • Does my child know how to get help in an emergency, such as calling 9-1-1 or going to a neighbor's house?
  • Does my child have access to a phone and know who to call in an emergency?
  • Have rules been established in your home? For example –
  • Allowing friends over
  • Answering the phone
  • Opening the door to visitors or deliveries
  • If doors should remain locked
  • Cooking (or establishing what appliances can be used)
  • Checking in with a parent or caretaker at pre-determined times

Remember: Not all children mature at the same rate. As your child grows older and stays home alone, you must ensure they follow established rules and possess the life skills needed to stay safe.

Travel Safety

Planning on traveling this summer? If you plan to be away from home for a few days or more, don’t give criminals clues that you are not home. Consider these precautionary measures to help keep your home and belongings safe while you are away.

  1. Find a friend, trusted neighbor, or family member to monitor your home. Leave them a key so they can stop by and ensure everything is in order, alerting you if anything is off.
  2. Take care of mail deliveries. Ask someone to collect your mail or put a vacation hold on your mail through the United States Postal Service (for social use website. Make sure to take care of all packages too.
  3. Plan for trash pickup. Ask a neighbor to put away your bins for you so they don’t remain on the curb for too long. That could be a sign that no one is home.
  4. Program your home with safetytools. A smart plug is a great way to control your lights with an app on your phone. Old-style mechanical timers work well too.Alarm systems, including video doorbells, and cameras are also great tools.
  5. Be mindful of what you post on social media. Consider waiting until you get home to share the details of your trip.

Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!

Water Safety

Every warm summer day offers the possibility of new and fun summer experiences, many of which occur near a pool or open body of water. Consider the following information to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while trying to stay cool.

  • Wear a lifejacket. Everybody should wear a lifejacket when in, on, or around water.
  • Never swim alone. Go with someone who is looking out for you and who you are looking out for in turn.
  • When in doubt, get out. Whether the current is getting rough, or your body isn’t responding like you would like it to due to fatigue or muscle cramps. Do not hesitate to get out of the water if something does not feel right.
  • Swim in designated swimming areas. Most state parks, beaches, and lakefronts have places or designated times when swimming is allowed and use flags to indicate borders. This helps protect swimmers from boats or other hazards.
  • No alcohol. Drinking alcohol affects your perception of danger, making you more likely to take unnecessary risks. It also impairs balance and coordination, which are essential to swimming.
  • Learn CPR. Knowing this lifesaving skill could help you respond to assist others when an emergency occurs.

Swimming in natural water is different than swimming in a pool. Cold water, drop-offs, entrapment, other swimmers, boats, and fishing lines can be hazardous. The existing environment can also change daily, and “familiar” swim areas can have new hazards that were not there before.

Make water safety a priority and use layers of protection to ensure that you make positive summer memories.

Learn more about water safety.