Child, holiday and summer – a great combination! If you close your eyes for a moment and remember your own childhood summers, you might remember the warmth of the sun on your skin, the first ice cream cone of the summer, a family vacation or some other wonderful memory. Summer vacation is important for children. During it, it is possible to spend time with the family, recover from the efforts of the school year, enjoy more flexible schedules, focus on friends and things that interest you.
Slightly older children and young people may gather important work experience and pocket money during the summer, accumulate experiences by traveling or gather strength by sleeping half the day. The greatest memories are often created from small things. Although from a trip abroad, the child might remember the wonderful toilet at the airport, the funny gray sparrow from the zoo, or the wasps that interested the audience from the summer theater.
According to a young person, the best moment of summer can be breakfast covered by a parent who is waiting for the last person to wake up. It’s fortunate that most of us have fond memories of summer. What is worrying is that many children and young people do not have these memories. Many young people spend the summer without friends. In some families, children and parents do not have a joint vacation at all, and the children spend a lot of time without an adult company.
Some of the children would like to go to summer camp with others, but for one reason or another it is not possible. This can be influenced, for example, by the family’s disposable income: around one in nine children lives in a low-income family. The use of adult substances or mental health problems overshadow the holidays of many children and young people. Many children have to experience physical violence from parents or other caring adults. And it is clear that accidents, crises and sadness are encountered even in the summer.
The need for help for children, young people and families does not disappear in the summer, and many may be left without help. A child’s or young person’s emergency may go unnoticed during a holiday at a kindergarten, school or educational institution. There may be queues for services due to the summer holidays, and the rhythm that usually supports everyday life is interrupted.
Would your actions this summer be decisive for a child, young person or family? A smile and a few words to a young person you don’t know in the store, asking a neighbor what they’re hearing, reporting a concern if an encounter raises concerns about well-being, health or safety.