Summer is my favorite times of the year. There is no need to worry with homework, uniforms and required school events. Instead our days are filled with camps, activities and tons of summer time fun! My oldest son loves to stay on the go and involved with everything and over the years, we’ve found a variety of activities he loves to participate in. From group swim at the pool to basketball camp at the rec center to his favorite two week sleep away camp in the mountains, his summer is spent staying active which I absolutely love. But sometimes his inclination to always be on the go and always be doing some physical activity conflicts with my worry free policy. After all, while I’m the first to admit that his summer choices are full of fun, they also open up the opportunity for him to get hurt.
Now before you start thinking I’m an overprotective mom (which, OK, I totally am in some ways) let me say that my kiddo has a tendency to have accidents. Now it’s not that he’s clumsy. It’s more like he goes so hard and gives his all so often that he doesn’t think about the fact that he might get hurt. Instead he just plays his heart out in whatever he is doing and let’s the cards fall where they may. While I’ll admit that I’m often very proud of his ability to commit to whatever he’s doing so completely, it also makes my heart skip a beat in those moments when I see him go down with a twisted ankle, a bump on his head or a cut on his leg. But instead of just stressing, this summer I’m preparing for the unexpected accidents that happen when you live with an adventurous kid.
Now, why did I decide to stop worrying and start preparing? Well, it all came down to the numbers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 million children 0-19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. You’d think this number would surprise me but it totally doesn’t. Because I’ve been the mom of one of those children…on multiple occasions. Want to know what I mean?
Well, let me give you a few examples. There was the time that he went up for a rebound in his summer ball league and came down…on his head. Several tries of “How many fingers am I holding up?” later, it was off to the emergency room we went! Or how about the time that he was playing football with his neighborhood friends and stepped in a hole. His ankle turned blue and my heart stopped. Things like this are just part of my world. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom to boys. Maybe it’s just because I’m a mom in general. But I’ve learned through years and experiences that no matter how careful you are, kids can’t live in a bubble and accidents do happen.
Since I’ve accepted that accidents are just a part of life with boys, I’ve also discovered tips that help me ensure that while accidents will happen, I’m prepared.
Teach Safety Tips
Whatever activity your kids are involved in make sure you’ve gone over the safety tips. While you may think that if they are not playing an organized sport there are no tips to share, pretty much any activity has a set of rules that will help keep your kids safe. From water safety to outdoor safety to simple tips about playing too close to the street, don’t just assume that common sense will rule and instead make sure you go over safety tips with your children often.
Have the Right Equipment
If your child is participating in an activity that requires equipment, make sure you have what they need and don’t cut corners. Some activities have specific needs. Other’s (like simply playing outdoors) don’t. But even if you child is not participating in something where protective gear is needed, make sure they have tennis shoes that are properly tied, helmets if they are on a bike or a scooter and sunglasses to protect their eyes.
Carry a First Aid Kit (Always)
I never leave home without my first aid kit. Now, your kit doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Bandaids, Neosporin and some children’s tylenol are a great place to start. Just having these simple necessities will help you feel more confident when accidents do happen and will help to comfort your child as well.
Consider Supplemental Accident Insurance
When accidents do happen, you’ll want to ensure that you can focus on helping your child heal instead of worrying about the cost of their care. According to the National Safety Council, the total cost of unintentional injuries in 2011 was $753 billion. And to be quite honest, that’s money that many of us just don’t have on hand. I’ve discovered that by having a supplemental policy, I have peace of mind that if the unexpected happens, I’ll have coverage to help so that my worry can be directed at my child.
Aflac offers accident insurance through a direct basis and through company benefits programs. They have coverage that can work with your current budget and even better they recently introduced One Day PaySM – an initiative that allows Aflac to process, approve and pay eligible claims in just a day.
This accident insurance helps families like mine and yours stay ahead of the medical and out-of-pocket expenses that add up quickly after an injury, allowing us to focus on recovery instead of worrying about working extra hours to help come up with the cash to cover the bills. And even better for a mom like me? Aflac will be introducing a new accident plan that includes a benefit for injuries sustained while playing an organized sport.
This means that whether my son is at camp, at practice or simply out having fun, I had the confidence that if he does have an accident, I’m totally prepared to handle it. And while my deepest wish is for him always to be safe and happy, having a policy in place that protects the legacy I’m working hard to leave him gives me the peace of mind to know what even when the unexpected does occur, my focus can simply be on taking care of him.
So moms, dads and caregivers in general: Before open enrollment starts this year, familiarize yourself with accident insurance from Aflac. It’s one more way that you can ensure you’re taking care of your active, energetic, accident prone child in every way possible!
Has your child even had an unexpected accident? Tell me what happened!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.