Whether they are walking to school, playing at home, or touring a crowded theme park, we all want to see our kids enjoying, interacting with, and exploring their surroundings. As a parent, though, it can be hard to let little ones do this as much as we’d like to given the potential hazards. Here are some ideas regarding the safest clothing choices for different ages, stages, and settings so you can allow your child the freedom to experience this great big, wide world.
Everyday Clothing Safety Tips
Why would companies make clothing that pose a potential safety risk to children? Well, they don’t mean to. But accidents happen, and it’s best to remove anything from clothes that might hurt your child just in case.
Let’s start with hoodies. They look cool and keep kids warm. They’re soft and comfy. But the drawstring that’s often found in the hood? Has got to go. Cords can be a strangulation risk if they get caught in a car door, bus, playground equipment, fences, or crib/bed slats.
The same goes for loose belts, ties, scarves, and sashes. Toss them all. Your child’s outfit will look just as good and be much safer. Also, remind children to remove bike helmets before playing—the straps that hold them on are just another strangulation hazard.
For children who cannot yet tie their own shoes, choose ones with Velcro closures. Loose shoelaces can cause big falls and broken bones. Velcro straps eliminate this problem as kids can keep sneakers easily secure on their own.
Out and About Locally
According to Children’s Health, pedestrian injuries are the fifth most common cause of injury-related death in the country. While you can’t stop drivers from getting distracted by phone calls and texts, you can ensure your kids are as visible as possible to decrease the potential of being hit. Brightly colored clothing and backpacks, or those featuring reflective material, are the best options here.
Of course, you should also teach children to walk together, only cross at designated crosswalks, follow traffic signals, and look both ways before crossing. Be sure they know drivers will not be able to see them from in between parked cars or when chasing after ball into the street. Staying on the sidewalk is mandatory!
It’s also important to note that drivers aren’t the only ones who get distracted. Riding a bike or walking while talking and texting can also be dangerous for children. Remind them to be aware of their surroundings when out and about to reduce the chance of injury.
There’s nothing more exciting for kids—or nerve-wracking for parents—than visiting a crowded theme park or other fun destination. Children often get so excited by all the thrilling sights, sounds, and of course, rides that they run off to explore.
And then, they’re lost. Nightmare! How to avoid stress and still have fun?
First, snap a picture of your child before heading out for the day. If you get separated, you can show security exactly what your child was wearing. It makes finding them so much easier.
Another idea is to have the family wear brightly colored, matching outfits. Personalized t-shirts are a great way to show you’re all together. Get creative with the design and make the message meaningful. Everyone is sure to treasure their shirt long after the trip is over!
Matching crazy socks and hats work as well. That way, you can look under and over the crowd for identifying elements rather than into a vast sea of people. Small children will be better able to find distinctive socks from their low vantage point.
For nighttime fun, buy some glow sticks and have your children put them around their wrists. It’s a fun way to easily spot them in a crowd. Pick the most vibrant color and start glowing.
Labeling the inside of a child’s clothes with their name and your cell phone number is the best way to ensure they know how to contact you in case they get lost. Some parents like to write their cell phone number in Sharpie on their child’s arm; other use temporary tattoos to accomplish the same goal. Still, others tuck information cards into children’s shoes and pockets as a safety measure. The important thing is to have your information readily available to your child should you get separated.
Finally, always make a plan in the event your child gets lost. Teach them to look to a policeman, lifeguard, or other mom with small children for help. Tell them to stay in one spot and let you do the finding!
Stay Safe and Sound
Fashion is fun, and it certainly doesn’t have to be scary. But being aware of potential clothing hazards and then removing these before anything bad happens is always a good idea. Keep your children safe and looking good with all these great tips!