Kids with Attention Deficit Disorder may find themselves in dangerous situations because they have an impulsive nature. Any time that kids with ADD have a lot of free time, like summer vacation or school holidays, they have more opportunities to exercise that impulsivity. With a few common sense safety precautions, you can help your child have a safer holiday.
In order for your child to make his best decisions, he needs enough rest. Make sure that he gets plenty of sleep on a regular basis. Have a defined bedtime for him. Teach him how to practice good sleep hygiene. Have a bedtime routine. Keep the surroundings in the bedroom restful and peaceful. The child should bathe before bed. Pajamas need to be comfortable. The activities leading up to bedtime should let the childís mind and body know that bedtime is coming soon. Kids who have ADD make much better decisions and behave less impulsively if they have adequate rest.
Make sure that your child knows how to swim and has a supervised place with a lifeguard to go swimming. Emphasize that diving is done only in a pool with a diving well. Never let your child dive from rocks into a lake. Water depth in a lake can fluctuate, and a child who dives into shallow water can break his neck. If the dive doesnít kill him, it can paralyze him for life. When boating, make sure that your child is wearing an approved flotation device. Even if your child can swim well, he needs to wear a flotation device when boating. Panic or an injury could prevent him from using his swimming skills, and a flotation device could save his life.
When the weather is fine, kids want to do physical activities. Have your child take a bike safety course if he rides. In any physical activity, have your child wear the appropriate safety gear. Research this together. Donít just ďlay down the law.Ē If your child doesnít appreciate the reasons behind wearing safety gear, the chances are good that it will come off as soon as adult eyes are not watching. If the activity involves gymnastic type stunts, have your child take a good gymnastics course. If your child does Capoeira, skateboarding, or Parkour (freerunning), gymnastics education and supervised practice can increase the safety of the pastime.
Holidays often involve fireworks. According to an article in the Huffington Post, in the United States in 2010 there were almost 9,000 fireworks injuries. Almost 2,000 fireworks injuries happened during the two weeks before and after the July 4th holiday. Fireworks are dangerous. Period. It is better to see a display than to shoot them off at home. About half of the injuries are to children under the age of 19-years-old. Fingers, hands, and arms account for 35% of the injuries. Eyes, ears, face, and head injuries comprise 37% of the injuries caused by fireworks. Sparklers arenít just cute little light devices. They burn at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause deep tissue burns. Children can also set clothing on fire with sparklers. Since sparklers are so pretty, itís difficult to make children understand how dangerous those sparklers are.
In these times when personal safety is a concern for many families, guns are sometimes kept in the home. Ask whether the home has a gun when you are finding out about where your child is spending time. If the household does have a gun, is it kept unloaded? Is the gun locked up? Children, especially those with ADD, are inventive, creative, and impulsive. Their curiosity can lead them into dangerous, life-changing actions. Children must be educated about guns, even if you donít keep a gun at home. You donít know what settings that your child might find himself in. When he understands that guns are unsafe to play with or explore, he will be safer.
Good weather allows children to go out and about on their own. Children learn independence by operating independently. That doesnít mean that you shouldnít keep track of where they are and who they are with. Know where your child is and when to expect him home. Educate him about stranger danger. He should understand that kids donít go anywhere with people that they donít know well. Tell him to stay with his group. There is an exception to staying with the group. Let him know about being in the wrong place. If a situation seems dangerous, he should leave. Make sure that he feels comfortable calling home if he is uncomfortable where he is at. Sometimes an activity looks like it will be a lot of fun, and then a child will find out that there is a dangerous component. He should be able to leave that situation. Donít lecture, just go get him. Later, when the emotions arenít running so high, have a discussion.
You want to be able to give your child those growth experiences that lead to him becoming a confident and independent adult. By teaching him some commonsense safety precautions, you can allow him to curb his natural impulsivity and keep himself safe.
Resources retrieved from the www on June 14, 2012: