It’s summer. It’s hot. Whether your kids are cooling off in the backyard kiddie pool, down at the beach, over at a neighbor’s sprinkler, the local pool, or indoors with the fan or AC on, remember safety first. And part of safety first is keeping things clean. Have you checked and/or changed the air conditioner filter? Good for the air we’re breathing, not to mention a safety hazard maintenance issue, and being kinder to the environment and your wallet. Here’s a great link from Energy.Gov with the 411 on all you need to know to keep your air conditioner in good shape. When’s the last time you cleaned out the gunk from summer water toys and those infamous pool noodles? Don’t be fooled. Items that are in and out of the water may seem clean, but mildew and even mold can lurk in the most innocent looking beach balls and plastic toys, not to mention the slimy surface that can take hold, especially if they’re not in chlorinated water.

What about the piles and piles of toys that become trip hazards? Clean them up before you twist an ankle. If you’re suffering from summer toy clutter, it’s time to purge purge purge. For items in good shape, donate them to kids in need (making sure you clean the toys first of course!). Recycle any broken or cracked items that can cause injuries, and get rid of any inflatables that no longer inflate. When you’re out and about, pick up litter and recyclables that you see along the way to be a good steward of keeping the earth clean.

Beach ball in swimming pool

Kids will be kids, and kids love to play in the sand, dirt, mud, and more. That’s all well and good, but keep the sand out of the house and the car so it doesn’t make a mess everywhere. Make sure you check kids (and yourselves too) for ticks when they come in from the woods, or even from the front lawn. Awareness and prevention is key. Use bug repellent, and wash clothes in hot water if you can. According to the Anne Arundel Department of Health, as of May 2015, the County has had at least 100 cases of Lyme disease per year since 2010. One great tip to help check for ticks is to use a regular lint roller, especially on blue jeans, where it’s especially hard to see, and check the lint roller for what appears. It may sound pretty gross, but it could potentially save someone from Lyme, which sounds pretty great to us.

So keep it clean, keep it organized, be good to the environment, and don’t forget to wash the rubber ducky in the bathtub too! Did you have a favorite beach toy growing up? Let us know in the comments below…

Rubber ducks