Child Health Care: How to Help Parents During the Summer

When it comes to child health care, you can be your employees’ biggest advocate, helping them keep their children safe and healthy. During the summer, parents often worry about their kids’ being at home on break and how to best take care of them. Here are a few things your business can do to help alleviate those worries.

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Options for Insuring Children

Children are more active during the summer, which means they may be more likely to get into an accident. Talk to your employees about how to ensure that their children have health insurance coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, children can be covered under their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26 years of age. Parents can also apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time, which is a low-cost children’s health plan for families that don’t have any other health coverage. Certain restrictions and income limitations apply and may vary from state to state. The plan applies to any child under 19.

Health Care for Summer Camps

Did you know that summer camps can bring up an entirely new set of health care questions? Children attending out-of-town summer camps might be out-of-network, which can have different consequences depending on the type of health plan your employees have. Ask your health care agent how the plans you offer may affect summer camp, and then educate your employees. You might need to provide information about short-term coverage options that parents can buy specifically for the summer months, so children have extra coverage while away.

Promote Summer Safety

Even if you can’t make specific changes to your health plan, you can still promote summer safety. Put together an email that provides parents with key tips for keeping their children safe. Teach them why it’s so important not to leave a child in a hot car even for a few minutes. Talk about water safety and avoiding too much sun exposure. Share information about the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined the basics. If you can budget for it, you might even want an expert to come by and teach CPR, or you might want to hold a seminar where a nurse talks about major summer safety issues.

Help Parents with Summer Child Care

During the summer, your employees’ children are suddenly home instead of being at school all day, creating a need for summertime child care. Some businesses offer to cover emergency backup care in case a nanny is sick or a daycare is closed for the day, Glassdoor reported. Even if you can’t help with the cost, you can make things easier for parents. For example, give them more flexibility around when they arrive for work and leave, allowing time to drop their kids off and pick them up before their child care closes or hourly costs increase. Keep this in mind when asking employees to work late and consider letting them work overtime projects at home so they won’t pay for further child care.

Your business can be your employees’ biggest advocate when it comes to child health care during the summer. Focus on educating your staff about summer issues and then look for anything you can spare in your budget to provide extra support.

Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and a non-practicing attorney with experience in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and has worked as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.

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