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Prepare Children for the Upcoming Vacation with Summer Safety Tips

Updated: May 16

Teach kids about summer safety for staying safe in the sun and outdoors.

The second semester is in full swing at Rockwood School District and other Eureka schools. Summer vacation soon arrives, leaving students nearly three months of no school routine. For many children, tweens, and young teens, summer vacation signals trips to the pool, lazy days, and lots of time outdoors. 

Unfortunately, the long summer days hold many potential dangers for individuals of all ages. Get ready for a safe and fun summer with these important summer safety tips.

Table of Contents:

Top Summer Safety Tips

Water Safety Tips

  • Swimming Safety Accessories for Children

  • Above-Ground Pool Safety

  • Pool Safety Features

  • Pool Safety Door Locks

  • Pool Safety Fencing

Sun Safety for Kids

  • Sun Safety Tips

Summer Vacation Tips

Stranger Danger

Key Takeaways:

The long summer vacation gives children and teens more time and freedom. Before the vacation begins, parents should discuss important safety tips related to water safety, stranger danger, and staying safe in the sun and heat.

Top Summer Safety Tips

Many Eureka residents purchase a pool pass (or a yearly pass) to The Timbers, while other families opt for a season pass to Six Flags (with access to Hurricane Harbor). Trips to Lake of the Ozarks for boating and camping or float trips down the Meramec are popular summer activities for cooling off and having fun.

Eureka is such a safe area that many teens and older kids wander around local parks and rec areas on their bikes and in groups. During the cooler summer days, it isn’t uncommon to find many families at Berry Park, Drewel Park, or hiking or biking at Route 66 State Park. 

No matter what activities keep families and their kids busy during the summer, safety is the number one priority. There are five crucial safety tips that all kids and teens should follow this summer; our top summer safety tips are:

  1. Always travel in groups.

  2. Stay hydrated.

  3. Remember that bikes must abide by all traffic laws.

  4. Wear sunscreen.

  5. Practice good water safety habits. Use proper flotation devices in rivers, lakes, and other larger bodies of water. At pools, never swim alone; weak swimmers also should use a life jacket in deeper areas.

Children who are not good swimmers need to practice proper water safety when swimming in pools. Parents should always supervise children around water.

Water Safety Tips

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 46 individuals died from an accidental drowning in 2021; this statistic, however, only accounts for state waters (rivers, lakes, etc.). Drowning deaths in private pools are not included, and drowning deaths are likely higher. 

Swimming in rivers and lakes is extremely different from swimming in a pool. Lakes and rivers have drop-offs that can surprise swimmers who discover that they are suddenly navigating deep water that is over their heads. Rivers also feature strong currents, including undertows that can pull swimmers underwater. 

Murky water is common in natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes; unfortunately, cloudy water impedes proper depth perception, leading to swimmers underestimating water depth. Always use a life jacket when swimming in a lake or river; this rule applies to even extremely skilled swimmers. Rivers are unpredictable bodies of water; the current can catch anyone off guard and sweep them underwater.

Pools are clear, blue, and current-free. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t pose a danger. Many private pools do not offer on-duty lifeguards, meaning individuals swim at their own risk. A swimmer could also underestimate pool depth, causing them to navigate a depth beyond their swimming ability. 

Swimming Safety Accessories for Children

Young children can enhance their water safety with a few crucial safety accessories. Children should wear swimwear that features bright colors (not blue or green that blends into the water). Choosing bright-hued swimwear makes children more visible to lifeguards if they slip underwater. 

Children also should use a life jacket or another flotation device, especially if they are novice swimmers. Swim wings are not adequate for life saving protection; while these inflatable accessories are fun, they are not designed to keep children safe. Use them for recreational purposes only.

An adult must always supervise young children playing in or near the water. Drowning happens in mere seconds. Do not take your eyes off children when playing in or near pools or natural bodies of water. 

Above-Ground Pool Safety

Above-ground pools are a popular choice for many homeowners; they are more affordable than in-ground pools and are not permanent fixtures. When installing an above-ground pool, homeowners can improve the safety of children by following these crucial tips:

  • Install a fence

  • Use a safety cover

  • Keep flotation devices near the pool 

  • Learn CPR and other first-aid techniques

Pool Safety Features

There are several safety features that homeowners must install on both in-ground and above-ground pools. These features help keep neighbors and animals out of the pool, and, most importantly, they help protect homeowners from a liability related to an injury or an accidental drowning.

Pool Safety Door Locks

Door locks keep visitors out of the pool area. These locks can be purchased online or at a local retailer that carries pool supplies. Always install a lock on doors leading to your pool.

Pool Safety Fencing

Most home insurance companies will stipulate that a fence must be installed around a pool. Fences serve as an additional barrier to keep unwanted guests from entering the pool, which could lead to injury or death. 

Sun Safety for Kids

The University of Missouri Climate Center reports that every summer, northern and western Missouri hit a high temperature of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (or hotter) for 40 to 50 days. It’s not unusual for Eureka to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit a few days each summer.

Missouri’s summer sun feels brutal. Adults should watch children closely for signs of overheating or heat stroke when they are outdoors for an extended period of time during a hot summer day. 

Sun Safety Tips

Be mindful when the mercury reaches the high 90s during the summer months. Avoid prolonged activities during extremely hot days. When families are outdoors during the hot summer, follow these important tips:

  • Stay hydrated. Pack plenty of water.

  • Take breaks during physical activities outdoors.

  • Wear light-colored clothing. Avoid dark hues.

  • Apply sunscreen regularly. Protect your face with a hat.

Summer Vacation Tips

Summer is the season of long vacations. Families might travel abroad to another country, a local attraction like Silver Dollar City, or a coastal state like California, Texas, or Florida. No matter where you travel, teach children to abide by safety best practices at all times. 

Before leaving for any trip, help children and teens remember to:

  • Never venture out alone (tourists are prime targets for crime)

  • Always carry identification and a cell phone (for older children and teens)

  • Follow the buddy system

  • Understand and follow the rules and courtesies of any foreign culture

  • Get proper vaccines (for abroad trips)

  • Take a photo each day (this documents what everyone is wearing)

  • Always lock doors at accommodations

The Most Important Travel Safety Tip: Rethink Stranger Danger

When families travel to a foreign country, everyone is a stranger. Even in a different state, strangers are everywhere. The old rule of “don’t talk to strangers” is becoming more difficult for parents to profess to their children. While engaging with strangers is not advised, talking to a stranger in a strange place is inevitable if a child becomes lost. Don’t teach children to fear strangers; help them understand how to find the right stranger.

When a child gets lost or separated from the family, have them ask for help from these strangers:

  • Police officers

  • Employees wearing a name tag

  • Parents with their children

  • Elderly individuals with young children (i.e., grandparents!)

Teach children to never leave with strangers (even those with children). Empower children by ensuring they know and memorize their parents’ cell phone numbers. 

Summer Vacation Countdown

Summer vacation begins in a few months. Prepare children for a safe summer, and educate them about water safety, sun safety, and how to be safe during vacation. Enjoy the remaining months of school, and get ready for a fun summer now!


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