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Summer Safety As Important As Summer Fun: Surviving Summertime Scorchers

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer is a prime time for family vacations, the kids are out of school and parents are in need of some time away from the office. Many children enjoy traveling; they can see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. However, traveling can also be anxiety provoking for them. Being in big crowds, sleeping in different beds, and eating unfamiliar foods can all cause extra stress. The following list of suggestions from the American Psychiatric Association may help parents minimize their children’s anxiety when traveling:

  • Let your children help plan the vacation if old enough – this will help them learn about where they are going and how they will get there.
  • Leave plenty of time to get to your destination – nothing is more stressful than rushing to leave on time, or racing through traffic to get to your destination.
  • Keep children occupied, especially on longer road trips – bring food, snacks, games, books, etc., to keep them busy.
  • Try to establish a relatively regular routine while traveling – children are reassured by schedules and predictability.
  • Let your children bring something familiar from home – it may be their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, toy, or a picture of their friends, family, or pet.
  • Plan for a lot of bathroom and snack breaks – helping your children feel comfortable will make traveling much easier on everyone.
  • Allow your kids to keep in contact with friends and family back home when traveling for an extended period of time – let them call, text, send letters, postcards, or e-mails.
  • Do not force your children to endure adult activities such as long museum visits, formal dinners, or plays in languages they don’t understand – rather, plan child-oriented activities like visiting parks, zoos, and toy stores.

The AAA also has a few tips to keep in mind that can help you plan for a safe and fun road trip, such as:

  • Buckle up for safety – you’ll avoid a ticket, and more importantly, should you get into an accident, you’ll increase the odds of surviving the crash and reducing injuries for both you and your family.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – drowsy drivers can be as dangerous behind the wheel as drunk drivers. Don’t think coffee or opening windows will keep you awake – there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep.
  • Take a break from driving if you feel yourself getting drowsy – get out of the car for some exercise or switch drivers if you have that option.
  • Do not drink and drive – you put yourself and anyone around you in danger.
  • Conduct a pre-road trip checklist on your vehicle – taking just 10 minutes to ensure your car’s tires are properly inflated, that the fluids are topped off, and everything under the hood is all right can identify problems that could lead to future breakdowns – putting a damper on your vacation.
For more information regarding this Wellness Briefing, contact Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness, Horton Benefit Solutions, The Horton Group, at 708.845.3179 or via e-mail at

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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