As daylight savings time approaches on March 10, 2024, parents everywhere are gearing up for the biannual ritual of adjusting clocks and schedules. While the extra hour of daylight in the evening is welcomed by many, the time change can disrupt sleep patterns and routines, especially for children. To help ensure your child’s safety and smooth transition, here’s a comprehensive checklist to guide you through daylight savings time.

Adjust Sleep Schedule Gradually

One of the biggest challenges of daylight savings time is adjusting to the new sleep schedule. Start gradually shifting your child’s bedtime and wake-up time a few days before the time change. This can help ease the transition and minimize the impact on their sleep patterns.

Check Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Daylight savings time is a perfect reminder to test and replace the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Make sure these essential safety devices are in working order to protect your family in case of emergencies.

Review Safety Procedures

Take this opportunity to review safety procedures with your children. Remind them about fire safety, stranger danger, and other important precautions. Use age-appropriate language and scenarios to help them understand and remember the information.

Adjust Meal & Snack Times

With the time change, meal and snack times may also need to be adjusted to align with your child’s new schedule. Plan ahead and make any necessary changes to ensure they’re getting proper nutrition throughout the day.

Update Emergency Contacts

Review and update your emergency contact list, including phone numbers for family members, neighbors, and healthcare providers. Make sure everyone knows who to contact in case of an emergency, especially if your child will be in someone else’s care during the transition.

Check Outdoor Safety

As the days get longer, children may spend more time playing outside. Take the time to inspect outdoor play areas for any hazards or potential dangers. Ensure that playground equipment is in good condition and that there are no obstacles or tripping hazards in the yard. Historically, time changes have led to more traffic accidents. Take the time to remind your child to always look both ways before crossing the street, staying on the sidewalk where available, and walk towards traffic. According to the Fresno injury attorney at R&S law, common causes of pedestrian accidents include poor visibility and speeding which can be exacerbated by the time change. 

Monitor Screen Time

With the time change, it’s important to monitor your child’s screen time, especially in the evening. Limit exposure to screens before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from electronic devices can interfere with sleep quality and make adjusting to a new sleep schedulemore difficult.

Be Patient & Flexible

Lastly, be patient and flexible as your child adjusts to the time change. It may take a few days for them to adapt to the new schedule, so allow for some flexibility during this transition period. Offer plenty of reassurance and support as they acclimate to the change.

By following this daylight savings time checklist, you can help ensure your child’s safety and smooth transition into the new schedule. With a little preparation and planning, you can make the time change a seamless experience for your family.