ADHD Summer Survival Guide
ADHD and Summertime Safety
Children with ADHD have a tendency to be reckless and fearless at times. They may need more outside supervision than other children of similar ages. Safety equipment (such as a bicycle helmet) is essential for all children, but it's especially important for children with ADHD who might have a tendency toward risky behaviors.
Many children with ADHD do well spending a large part of their day outdoors. Make sure your child is well protected from the sun. Sunscreen works well (be sure to apply enough, often enough), but if your child hates sunscreen, sun-protective clothing can also be useful.
Make sure you know child CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), especially if your child will be swimming. Have a basic first-aid kit ready to handle the unavoidable skinned knees and bug bites of summer. If your child is allergic to bees, it's a good idea to have an EpiPen® ready as well.
ADHD Camps and Other Programs
Some children with ADHD will do fine in regular camps and other organized activities, such as swimming lessons or art classes, in which case, these activities can help fill the long summer days with fun. Other children with ADHD, however, will not do well in group settings.
If this is your child, consider more one-on-one socializing, such as having a play date with just one other child, or activities with just the family, such as trips to the library. In addition, some areas of the country have summer camps geared especially toward children with ADHD.
ADHD and Summer Academics
While summer should be mostly about having fun and exploring new experiences, don't totally forget about academics during these months. Help your child retain what was learned during the school year with fun learning activities. But don't force the issue if your child simply isn't interested.
Instead, find a way to make learning fun -- for instance, your child may not have the ability or inclination to sit down and work through the pages of a workbook, but he or she may be thrilled with the idea of family "field trips." If your child loves to read or to be read to, make sure to include plenty of reading.
However, don't forget that summer is a great time to make sure your child gets a break from the frustration and feelings of inadequacy they may experience during the school year. If all your attempts at summer academic activities fail, don't worry or add to your child's frustration. Even a summer spent almost exclusively playing outside is a summer filled with valuable learning.