Photo: Storyblocks

Summer is almost here! The air is getting warmer, the sun stays out longer, and it’s likely your teens are getting anxious to start their summer vacation.

Your number one priority is to keep your kids safe, no matter how old they are. Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it can be stressful at times when you have a teenager in the house who wants to explore and soak up every bit of time they have to be themselves.

Thousands of books out there explain how to keep your home safe for an infant, but what about books or recommendations to keep teenagers safe? You can’t just put them in a playpen anymore—they have friends, cellphones, cars and a mind of their own now. To ensure your teen stays safe, check out these safety tips for your summertime teens so you can have a relaxing and bright summer!

Stress the Importance of Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Hopefully, this tip will be off the list for next year, but it’s still valid for this year. Summertime is often associated with teens spending days on end with their friends and exploring various places. However, you must stress the prevention of spreading COVID-19.

Some states are beginning to reopen, so ensure your teen is following your state’s ordinances. Remind them to:

  • Frequently wash their hands
  • Wear a facemask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid contact with those who may have the virus

Reminding them of these precautions should keep them healthy this summer to return safely to school in the fall.

Be Transparent About How Often You Want Communication

Teens seem to always be on their phones, but they tend to forget to reply to a text or call back their parents! Ensure you’re clear with how often you want them to check in with you when they’re out and about. It’s important that they know you’re one call away in case of any dangers.

Remind them to charge their phones often. Additionally, if you need an update on location changes, clearly explain that each time they leave a place and arrive at another location, you expect them to contact you.

Discuss Driving Safety & the Rules of the Road

For most teens, driving equals freedom. As your teen turns their designated driving age, they will want to be on the road as much as possible once summer hits. Whether it’s a day trip to the beach or a shopping trip with their best friend, they need to know that driving safely is crucial.

Discuss good driving habits such as wearing a seatbelt, putting the phone away and not eating in the vehicle. Any distractions, especially when teens first start driving, could be extremely dangerous.

Explain the Dangers of Substances

Although your teen has probably heard multiple times about the dangers of substance abuse, it never hurts to re-explain that to them. Teach them that peer pressure is a powerful thing and that it is 100% okay to say no. If they are in a situation where they’re pressured to use a vape, smoke, participate in drug use or drink, let them know that you are available to help.

Also, explain the long-term effects of those who delve into substances. Even though they may think it’s just one time, that one time can lead them down a road they don’t want to be on.

Get to Know the People Your Teen Spends Time With

One of the best ways to know if your teen will be safe when they are with friends is to get to know their friends. Have your teen invite their friends to your house for a few get-togethers. Additionally, you can ask your teen about their friends.

As your teen is spending time with their friends, observe them. This will allow you to better judge whether or not those people are good influences on your teenager.

Talk about Sex

It’s a tough conversation, but someone has to do it, and it’s probably best if it comes from a parent than any other source where information could be invalid. It’s a crucial conversation for all parents to have with their teenagers because many consequences can come from one sexual encounter.

Be open and honest with them. Allow them to ask you any questions they have. If they have been sexually active with someone, teach them about birth control and protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

Encourage a Healthy Diet & Hydration

In the summer, although kids are pretty active, there may be times you go on vacations and splurge on sugary treats and drinks for your teens. Although it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, ensure your teens still maintain proper eating habits to keep them energized and fueled for the day.

You should also ensure that your teen is drinking water. Water is the best drink for hydration purposes. People are more likely to become dehydrated during the summer months because of excessive heat and activity. Remind them to drink water throughout the day!

Create a Safe & Fun Summer Plan with Your Teen

Ultimately, you want your teenager to have fun during the summer. Soon, they’ll be off to college or heading into the workforce, so summer is their chance to live it up! Before summer break begins, have these conversations with them to create a safety plan for their summer.

 

RELATED: The Surprising Thing a Pixar Movie Taught Me about Raising a Teenager