Playdates and Safety: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

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Two kids sitting together by the edge of a pool

Playdates are the in thing right now. My kid’s calendar is jam-packed and happening! Unfortunately, tragedies happen which is why it is so important to know our surroundings and educate our little humans to speak up when they don’t feel safe. 

Here are 4 big safety categories to keep in mind when it comes to hosting or attending playdates:

Pools

According to the consumer product safety commission, 350 children under the age of 5 drown every year. The majority of these drownings occur in backyard home pools. If you own a pool and are hosting a playdate there are a few things to check before your guest arrives. Does everyone attending the playdate know how to swim? Do you have a gate or net to protect the kids from falling in? Are the doors leading to the pool locked or accessible to the children? These are just a few important questions to ask not only if you are hosting but if invited to a party as well. 

Three kids eating popsicles by the pool

Guns & Weapons

This one is a big one and for some reason, it’s not one that many people ask. Are there guns or weapons in the house?

We are a big gun family and are big on gun safety education for our own kids. Growing up we did not have guns in our home. I was not taught about them or their proper use only that they were “dangerous and bad.” This is the case in many households, which is why I feel it is so important to share with our guests if we have guns and what measures we take to keep them away from the kids. An easy way to ask this is, “For safety reasons, do you guys own any guns or weapons?”

Animals

While I love my three pups, I also know their personalities and that they can sometimes be defensive when it comes to our family. According to a Safer America consumer report, over 2 million American children are bitten by dogs each year. I always let visitors know that we have dogs and that they can be put away if they are not comfortable. If you have animals (not just dogs) that may not like to be around children or maybe are not used to being around others, it’s always a good idea to let your guest know.

Food Allergies

Having had a few allergic reactions myself, this one is close to my heart. I have a severe food allergy to tree nuts. Unfortunately, I had to find this out the hard way! Let’s just say it includes a restaurant, lots of Benadryl, vomit, and my 1-month postpartum self.

Most of us know that peanut butter is a big NO-NO these days. Even so, it’s hard to know what everyone’s allergies are when hosting a party. With kids, this is even a bigger issue as they themselves may not know that they are allergic to certain things yet. My rule of thumb is to ALWAYS ask all the parents if there are any allergies I need to know about. This simple question can help avoid a much bigger problem during the playdate. This post on safe summer hacks for adults and children with food allergies is also a helpful resource.

Two children painting during a playdate

Hope this helps ease some of your minds with playdates in full swing this summer!

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