Autumn is a season we often associate with colours - you might picture the leaves changing colour as fruits and vegetables ripen in the fields under the watchful eye of a scarecrow. Autumn is also a season of excitement - children dress in scary costumes for Halloween, knowing that Christmas isn’t far off. And in many cultures it’s also a time of remembrance, as another year draws to a close and we think back on the year that’s been.
There are many autumn activities that you can enjoy with your kids such as pumpkin carving and cooking gingerbread figures. Alternatively, autumn camps in Singapore can entertain and educate kids as they learn about the season and everything associated with it. But however you spend it, autumn can be a great time to check that your kids are as safe as they can possibly be. So, here are our top safety tips for autumn:
Covid & other viruses
Many fun autumn activities involve getting messy outdoors with leaves, pinecones and harvest produce. So in ‘normal’ times it would always be important to ensure that kids wash their hands after trips outside the house. Now, with Covid looking like something we’ll have to deal with long-term, it’s even more important that everyone remembers to wash or sanitize their hands after any activity, but especially those involving other people.
We all know that Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world, with very little crime. It’s great to know that kids can have a lot more freedom here without the concerns you might have in other countries. But, just like the rest of the world, one of the biggest risks for kids in Singapore comes from road vehicles. It’s therefore important that they have good road safety awareness and follow rules such as always crossing at a pedestrian crossing when the light is green; avoid crossing between parked cars or when your view is otherwise reduced.
Enrolling your kids in autumn camps can be a great way to get them off screens, which is important to ensure they have a balanced lifestyle that includes plenty of hands-on activities with other kids. But it’s inevitable that kids today will spend time online, so making sure they’re safe is essential. It’s worth reminding them to never share personal information or passwords, to never agree to meet in person anyone met online without parent approval, and to always ask a parent if they’re uncomfortable or unsure about anything.
It doesn’t look likely that kids will be doing much trick-or-treating this year, but in future years it’s always worth making sure they have an adult with them when they go out for Halloween adventures, especially if they’ll need to cross roads when it’s dark.
It’s wonderful to get kids comfortable in the kitchen. As they learn to prepare some of their own foods their independence will grow and they can start to take responsibility for their own healthy eating. But knives always represent a hazard and it’s sobering to note that 1 in 5 paediatric A&E visits in the United States are due to burns from hot liquids. The best way to ensure kitchen safety is to educate kids about the hazards and how to avoid them.
It’s really important to keep kids active. Cycling is a great way to do that but it’s always best to get kids to stick to cycle paths and wear helmets. And if they’re cycling at night it’s essential to make sure they have lights and, ideally, reflective clothing to make sure they’re equipped for autumn safety.
Appropriate clothing and suncream
In some countries dressing for autumn means putting on thick jumpers, fleeces and lined boots. In Singapore we’re unlikely to be at risk of hypothermia but overheating or getting sunburnt is something we always need to be cautious about. So, where possible, make sure that kids wear breathable long-sleeved tops, caps or hats, and have plenty of suncream on exposed skin.
Safety measures in camp
One of the benefits of going to an autumn camp is that safety is their top priority. Reputable camps will have a low ratio of kids to teachers, good first aid materials and skills, and clear safety guidelines for kids to follow. Since the start of the global pandemic, camps should have detailed Covid-19 protocols including regular disinfection routines, safe distancing rules, and no sharing policies.