The ire of many: Spring Forward, Fall Back. Wreaking havoc on everything from babies and toddlers bedtimes to pet’s feeding schedules, as well as the amount of coffee consumed by us bleary-eyed adults, Daylight Savings Time is coming, whether we are ready or not.
WHAT HAPPENED TO PERMANENT DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME?
Last year, legislation was passed that made it seem like permanent daylight savings time was going to become a reality, but then life intervened and the legislation was never passed into law. If enacted, this would have ended the twice-yearly changing of the clocks and standardized Daylight Savings Time year round, giving way to brighter afternoons. So now that the reality (or lack thereof) of permanent daylight savings time is explained and we have all come to grips with the fact that we will be see-sawing our body’s internal clocks, how do we adjust our kids to daylight savings time, and while we are at it…will it help us too?
4 TIPS TO GET READY FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
Stock up on Sleep – Get enough sleep now so that when the clocks do change, you’ll be well-rested (and ready to handle cranky children). For both of you, going into Daylight Savings Time having already had plenty of sleep in the days before helps to avoid being excessively tired come bedtime.
Stick with a Routine -Stick with your child’s bedtime routine, devoting the proper amount of time to your dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime routines just as though it’s any other day. Don’t be tempted to skip, lengthen, or shorten naptime in order to help your younger children adjust to the time change.
Light Matters – Make the room dark, even when it’s still light outside. Darkness signals to our bodies that it’s time for sleep, so putting kids to bed while it’s still light out can make bedtime tricky. Room darkening shades or curtains can help by blocking the light from brightening up the room. In the morning, flood the room with light, either by turning on lights in the room or opening the curtains to let as much natural light in the room as possible to signal that it’s time to start the day.
Take Baby Steps – If you have found from experience that the time change sends your world into a tailspin, take a gradual approach beginning in the days prior to the actual time change. Begin going to be 15 minutes earlier each night, increasing so that by the time the time changes, you will have already adjusted. Hopefully, (fingers crossed) this will also encourage your kids to sleep later so that when you change the clocks, everyone will be right on schedule.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME SAFETY TIPS
It’s not just kids that have a hard time with the time change. People can become stressed and fatigued, which can lead to more traffic and workplace accidents. Besides avoiding operating heavy equipment and tools while drowsy, pay extra attention on the road, giving yourself plenty of travel time so that you don’t feel rushed. Set the coffee pot before bed, and have breakfast and lunch packed and ready in the fridge. Go into Daylight Savings Time knowing that the first few days will be difficult, so manage your expectations and do what you can to prepare beforehand.
Daylight Savings Time is also a good reminder to review your safety checklist and handle some of those once or twice yearly tasks.
- Check batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet and throw away expired or unused prescriptions.
- Replenish your first aid kit – both in your home and in your car.
- Check and lubricate window locks so that you have access to an emergency exit if needed
- Spring Cleaning? Pay extra attention to the chemicals that you are using and avoid unlabeled bottles that may cause disaster if mixed inappropriately.
At MedExpress, our EMTs and Paramedics are well aware that Daylight Savings Time signals the start of a new season for many, with longer days beckoning for activity. Remember, with a little extra caution and preparation, you can make the most of the extra daylight while staying safe (and happy) during daylight savings time.