Now that Ohio leaders have green-lighted many of summer’s most cherished activities, Ohioans everywhere, especially parents of cooped-up children, can heave a collective sigh of relief – sort of.
Though campgrounds, day camps, dance and exercise studios, sports leagues and public pools are open or will open in the coming days, just about everything families enjoy in the hot summer months will have new protocols and limitations. There’s no doubt that summer will look different this year, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t do what they do best – be kids. Here are some tips to keep in mind as your family navigates what used to be the carefree summertime months.
Be Mindful of New Restrictions
As much as we want to act as though COVID-19 has vanished just because it’s summertime, it hasn’t and state officials are alerting us that numbers of contracted cases may rise as Ohio reopens. Continue to monitor your destination’s website, email blasts and social media pages for updates regarding opening dates, restrictions and safety protocols. As we all know, information changes daily, if not hourly at times. Adhere to any and all restrictions and rules and practice patience as destinations reopen with new protocols.
Discuss Public Safety With Your Children
It’s a good idea to sit down with your children for a family discussion on best health practices you will enact together and when you are apart this summer. Remind children of the importance of frequent hand-washing and sanitizing, basic hygiene such as sneezing into the elbow and adhering to the guidelines of places they visit. Tailor your conversation to the ages of your children. Stock your car with hygiene tools including hand-sanitizer, gloves, face masks and other pertinent items.
Get Ready For Some Disappointment
Summer is always chock-full of fun activities, from dance camps to sports teams to swimming lessons to afternoons at the pool and time at Lake Erie beaches and public spaces and though it may be hard to witness changes and limitations on the things we enjoy, it’s for the best as health officials continue to study COVID-19. In the event that a family activity gets canceled, postponed or appears drastically different from what your child is used to, be ready to step in with words of encouragement to boost his/her morale and help him/her understand the thought-process behind the action. Children are resilient and they will adjust and bounce back. Remember that old adage to “make the best of it.” Now is the perfect time to put that mindset into place.
Trust Your Gut
Parents have been trusting their instincts since the moment they first held their children and if something doesn’t feel right or look right this summer, take a time-out. If you’re not comfortable sending your child to a day camp or to the pool with friends, then don’t. As you’re out and about this summer, don’t be afraid to notify managers if protocols aren’t being followed by those around you.

Contributing Writer