Summer Safety: Keeping Risk in Perspective

Summer Safety: Keeping Risk in Perspective

Taking a Balanced Approach to Child & Teen Safety

Everywhere you look, there are lists of summer safety tips that set fear in the hearts of well-intentioned parents. While it’s important to safeguard kids from danger, there’s a delicate balance between caution and overprotection. Closely supervising young children around water, enforcing pool safety and keeping extra sunscreen on hand are wise ways to weather summer risks. Micromanaging, over-sheltering and preventing exploration, on the other hand, may lead teens and younger kids become risk-averse, indecisive and overly dependent.

This summer, step away from the desire to over-control—and work toward giving kids age-appropriate forms of independence to enable social, personal and emotional development. As your child or teen demonstrates self-sufficiency and feels accomplished, loosen the reins in new areas.

Tips for Healthy Summer Independence

  • Cultivate the desire to try. Whether it’s tackling the monkey bars, learning to drive, attempting a new sport or engaging in a social challenge or unfamiliar activity, inspire teens and children to step outside their comfort zones this summer. Urge them to invite a friend if they’re afraid of going it alone, and remind them that successful people are open to new experiences and willing to take calculated risks.
  • Work on problem-solving. As parents, we can be all-too-quick to rescue kids from adversity. Instead, try walking your son or daughter through the problem-solving process to encourage critical thinking. When children are faced with physical, relational or vocational challenges this summer, guide them to step back, analyze the situation, list their options and reason their way to a decision.
  • Let the consequences do the talking. As you give young people increasing responsibility, they will inevitably make mistakes. Keep in mind that natural and disciplinary repercussions speak louder than lectures. Over time, consequences train kids to take responsibility for their actions—and teach them to make better choices in the future. If your child fears failure, remind them to view missteps as valuable learning opportunities.

Don’t Let Fear Drive the Bus

Understandably, you may feel like the best way to protect your kids is to outfit them in bubble wrap and tie them to a chair—but don’t let concern get the best of you. While advanced preparation helps summertime go off without a hitch, fear isn’t your friend. Accept the fact that you can’t control everything, and find a flexible, healthy balance between appropriate caution and unwelcome anxiety.

“I’m a big fan of safety measures—bike helmets, seat belts. I just don’t think kids need a security detail every time they leave the house,” says syndicated columnist Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children Without Going Nuts With Worry. “You can limit risky behavior, but you can’t eliminate risk.”

Partner With Maglio for Summer Safety

Between BBQs and vacations this summer, partner with Maglio Electric to check these vital summer safety tasks off your family’s list:

  • Schedule an annual pool and spa inspection. Aging wiring and grounding problems put people and pets at risk, so Maglio technicians check electrical connections and outdoor equipment for safe operation.
  • Install security lighting. Well-placed lighting deters crime and loitering while helping residents and guests navigate paths and outdoor areas at night. Contact our licensed NJ electricians to request your free outdoor lighting consultation.

For more information about identifying home electrical hazards, visit our Resource Center or call 908.735.6218 to speak with our responsive team!

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