More and more families are spending what would be their summer vacations at home this year. Summer staycations are sweeping the country and while parents are looking forward to spending more quality time with their partners and their children, taking advantage of their neighborhood and attractions that are close by. However, spending more time at home also includes more planning, bigger messes, and more chores for everyone in the family.
The reason why so many families are having a staycation is undoubtedly due to the downward spiral of the economy. My partner and I both work from home; I run this website as well as one other website, I am also a freelance writer, and a professional web designer and developer. My partner is a professional guitarist/musician who also plays around with professional web design and development. While many people hold the misconception that those who work with and in the technology field make a good chunk of change as truth, we truly make just about enough to live off month-to-month and as more people crunch their budgets and opt for pre-made website designs or go with bigger web design companies who are continuously offering discounted work due to the economy, we are continuously losing work. Needless to say, we are very familiar with staycations. To have fun this summer, we have been spending a lot of time at our local parks. Just a few houses up the street from our house, we have a great park that was just recently created for the children in the neighborhood, since they have very little else to do in our very, approximately 600-count borough. We have also been visiting parks in the next city over from us, having cookouts, flying kites, playing on playgrounds, and the like. Parks are a great way to spend the day with children of any age, and there are a great deal of activities that you can take part in at a park.
According to a recent Clorox survey, over 60% of the moms surveyed reported an increase in cleaning around the house as their families now spend more time at home. Mom Central teamed up with MommyDocs and came up with a list of five tips for Summer Staycations to keep your family safe and your house cleaner during the summer!
Staying Safe at BBQs. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of Moms are cooking more at home and many are likely switching up their meal routine with an outdoor BBQ. Make sure your kids have a safe BBQ experience by keeping them away from the flames and any sharp knives. Also, don’t forget to check that your child’s hamburger is fully cooked. Always keep a thermometer on hand to be sure all food has reached the appropriate inside temperature.
Keep the Pool Cool and Clean. If your kids love to spend hot afternoons in kiddie pools, you know the importance of cleaning the pool area. Dump out water after each session, and keep the pool clean by disinfecting it with a solution of ¾ cup bleach* to one gallon of water. Don’t forget to rinse well and dry thoroughly after each cleaning (never leave any water in the pool). Be sure to always supervise children when they are in or around any water. (* Always remember to read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products)
Staying Healthy and Hydrated. Spending time in the heat means kids will be more prone to becoming dehydrated. Remind kids to take frequent rest/drink breaks in the shade when playing outside and try to avoid activity during peak sun hours. Encourage fluids before, during, and after outside activities.
Having Peace of Mind at Playgrounds. Sometimes just getting out of the house is the best way to keep it clean, but before letting kids loose at the playground, ensure the safety of the equipment. Swing seats and slides can really heat up in the sun – test them out before your kids hop on to avoid burns. Be sure the playground surface is composed of a soft material to help prevent injury. All playground equipment should be routinely checked for any broken or loose parts. As always, adult supervision is a must at all times!
Saving on Spills. Spending extra time around the house, especially with kids, often means more spills to clean up. Synthetic sponges and kitchen cloths can start to smell and carry bacteria, but you don’t have to toss them out after a few uses. One option to reduce bacteria is to sanitize sponges and dishrags by soaking them in a bleach solution (¾ cup of bleach* to a gallon of water) for 5 minutes in the sink. Don’t forget to rinse and dry when done. A wet sponge can also be microwaved to get rid of bacteria. (* Always remember to read and follow precautions and usage directions before using cleaning products)