You may have noticed that, although the temperatures havenâ€™t plummeted just yet, it is starting to get darker a lot earlier in the evenings already. At this time of year it is a good idea for parents to re-think some of the ways that they look to keep their children safe. Before you know it the darkness will have descended not long after they have left the school gates and the mornings will also be a lot less bright too.
Although safety should be paramount all year round; the shorter days that autumn and winter present may mean that you have to reiterate one or two things to your little ones. Here are a few points to think about.
Reducing Their Curfew â€“
Depending on what sort of parent you are, you will either be pretty strict or surprisingly lenient with the time you allow your children to stay out in evenings. However as the nights start to draw in you may wish to think about reducing this time so that your children are home before darkness has totally set in. If your child doesnâ€™t react kindly to this seasonal rule change then you could point out the fact that thereâ€™s not much they can do in the dark anyway, make a pact with other mums so that your childâ€™s friendsâ€™ curfews are reduce to the same time or allow them to stay out later if they are at someoneâ€™s house rather than playing outside.
Ask Them To Play In A Closer Vicinity To Your Home â€“
Your children may have a favourite play park that they like to go to in the evenings after school but when it starts to get darker earlier you may want to ask them to play somewhere nearer to home. Before you choose a specific area or park for them to play on; make sure that it is safe. Key things to look out for are equipment that is in good condition and not broken and a rubber playground surface that will help to break any falls. Knowing that they are closer to home in the evenings during the winter months will give you peace of mind and ensure that they donâ€™t have far to walk home in the dark.
Ask them Not To Hang Around After School â€“
Although it is never going to be pitch black at 3.30, or whatever time your child finishes school, if they stay behind for a while talking with friends or playing football on the field then it could soon be dark without them realising. If you trust them enough to let them make their own way back from school then itâ€™s important to ask them to travel straight home so that it is still light during their journey. If they are attending an after school club or they have any other reason to stay behind then itâ€™s a good idea to pick them up yourself on these particular days.
Prepare Them For The Elements â€“
The winter months not only bring darker evenings but also colder and windier days. Therefore you need to make sure you prepare your child appropriately for the weather outside. This includes making sure they have enough layers on if it is cold and maybe even keeping them in during the evenings if things get really frosty. You will also need to check that the lights are working on their bikes if they want to use these to travel to and from school, and itâ€™s also a good idea to give them some reflective clothing to wear whilst walking or biking in the dark or even twilight.
Chris Mayhew knows that the winter months present different challenges to the summer ones when it comes to child safety. He would recommend Smith Brothers to anyone looking for safety surfacing solutions or ways to make their home child proof.