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Pediatric Nurse Shares 5 Summer Activities She'd Never Let Her Kids Do

The debate over activity number one—sleepovers—rages on. See what other potentially risky activities made this mom's list.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated May 31, 2024
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Image: Rafal Olechowski | Shutterstock

As summer approaches there’s plenty of opportunities for fun and last memories, but pediatric nurse Josie Rose Mueller is using her unique perspective to remind parents of a few things to avoid to ensure their summer stays safe.

Based on her extensive experience in the operating room, Mueller has seen the tragic outcomes of some seemingly innocent activities. In a now viral TikTok video, Mueller shared five summer activities she will never let her kids do, and her reasons are eye-opening.

5. Riding on a lawn mower on a parent’s lap

“Without a doubt, I see one person on my Facebook feed doing this every single summer and yes, the photo is adorable, but it is less adorable when I see kids getting their legs cut off from it,” Mueller says.

4. Play with fireworks

“I will never ever ever let my kids play with explosive fireworks during the 4th of July. I have seen kids lose fingers, entire hands, teeth, portions of their jaw. I’ve seen them blow up basically just about anything,” she said.

3. Swim without supervision

When it comes to water safety, Mueller insists on vigilant supervision. “I will never let my younger children who are not very, very confident in water go to a swim party without me. It is actually true that the more people in a pool, even the more people surrounding a pool, the higher chance there is for your child to drown. There’s way too much room for error. There’s way too much room for someone to get lost.”

2. Ride in a car without being buckled in a car seat

“This one’s a given, but I will never ever let my kids ride in the car either not in their harness or not buckled in their seat. I have seen situations where one kid is buckled in and walks away with very minor injuries and the other kid either passes or walks away with very severe injuries because they were not buckled in from the same exact car crash,” Mueller shared.

1. Unsupervised sleepovers

Mueller is particularly cautious about sleepovers. “I will never let my kids be babysat by or go to somebody’s house or spend the night and do a sleepover at a house where I do not know every single person that’s going to be there, every single person in the house I’ve known them a long time, and I can verify that they’re good people,” she said. Citing numerous abuse cases she has encountered, Mueller questions whether she will allow her children to have sleepovers at all.

Mueller’s video, which has garnered over 1.2 million views, sparked a lively discussion among parents. Many echoed her concerns and shared additional safety measures they take for their children. One commenter, a fellow healthcare professional, added, “Peds ED: no sleepovers, no blinds with cords, single story homes only, no trampolines, neon swim suits only, no batteries, meds have to be locked up, NO ATVs.”

Another parent and therapist shared, “No sleepovers for a long time. I’ve heard too many stories and most of them from people they should’ve been able to trust.” A third parent offered a solution, “We only do mommy and me sleepovers. That’s the only way and it’s only close friends and family. If I can’t come she ain’t going.”

Mueller’s video highlights a shared concern among parents for the safety of their children, especially during the active and adventurous summer months. Learn more about how to keep your little one safe on the playground and around water here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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