As a parent of a child with special needs, you know the sort of preparation that is needed to help them stay safe, especially when playing with other children. However, you might feel compelled to let things slide for the summer. The weather is warm, the sun is shining and there’s so many fun activities to do.
But you don’t have to let down your guard to let your kid have fun. From having them wear an autism ID bracelet to talking with fellow parents, you can keep your child with special needs safe this summer.
1. Keep them hydrated
Hydration is important for the summer months, no matter your age. Add this to the fact that your child will be running around, sweating and breathing heavily and they’re really going to need to hydrate throughout the day. Bring along a cooler of water and juices if you’re heading to the park. If they’re heading to camp for the day, make sure they bring a water bottle with them and ask counselors to regularly check in to ensure they’re drinking enough.
2. Help them prepare
Make sure to prepare before you leave the house. The best way to do so is to help them relax prior to starting their day of play. Besides that, it’s helping them to get dressed, making sure they hydrate and have a snack beforehand and getting them out the door.
But you shouldn’t stop there. You can benefit from having your child wear a medical ID. Medical bracelets for kids make it easy to present relevant medical information for others to see, such as any allergies or mental disabilities your child lives with.
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3. Understand who they’re playing with
Another way to keep your child safe is to know who it is they’re playing with. This includes talking with their parents to ensure their children know, as well as keeping your children safe from children who are known to antagonize and bully others. It’s a simple way to provide barriers around who your child plays with, protecting them from potential dangers.
4. Stay away from hot surfaces
Every so often you’ll need to step in to protect your child. Children with special needs can be unaware of when they are getting injured, even as it happens. This most often includes burns, where they are mentally distracted elsewhere and do not realize they are being burned by a surface, flame or steam. Summertime concerns include hot pavement, metal slides, a vehicle’s exterior and more.
5. Keep them active without overwhelming them
Children with autism often struggle with overstimulation brought on by stressors. Depending on what they’re doing with other children while playing outside, they might find themselves overwhelmed and overstressed.
If you see them getting overstimulated, you should step in to help them calm down. That can involve performing deep breathing, light massaging of the shoulders and arms and giving deep hugs.
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6. Remain flexible
Most importantly, things do not always go according to plan. No matter what you do, things can go against your best expectations.
For that reason, you need to be flexible with whatever you do with your child. If your child ever appears to be uncomfortable or is becoming overwhelmed, you should try to either calm them down or remove them from the situation. But don’t cut the day short if they still seem in good spirits. Try out something different. Avoid being active with a trip to the zoo or go and get ice cream and sit in the park together.
Helping your kids enjoy the summer
Preparing your special needs child for summer activities shouldn’t cause you to break a sweat. By keeping a close eye on them and helping them prepare for the day, you can keep them as safe as you can.
Medical bracelets for kids are a great option to protect your child when out and about, as they can be used to inform other children and parents of your child’s special needs. This can help to defuse potentially difficult situations while also informing them to interact with your child accordingly.