I remember when we were kids we always got excited over the extra hour of sleep in the Fall. It meant that we could stay up an hour later and watch more TV. In the spring time, changing the clocks ahead an hour always meant the end of winter, beginning of Spring and the excitement of getting closer to the end of the school year.
Now that I am older and ever so wiser, I have really become passionate about this losing an hour of daylight. Maybe its because I love being outdoors, or maybe its that kids these days (I just had to use that line) would rather be indoors playing video games than outdoors playing with friends and the fact that it gets dark and hour earlier gives them more of an excuse to stay indoors.
There is the argument to drop Daylight Savings and stop changing the clocks altogether. If I had to choose between dropping Daylight Savings and switching the clocks twice, I would just drop Daylight Savings time. To me it doesnt make much sense to add an hour of daylight in the summer when the sun is already setting late as it is. There are many summer camps that switch to â€œCamp Timeâ€ ie an hour back for several reasons one of which being more darkness for night time activities.
But if we got to choose, I would say just keep Daylight Savings the whole year. Why do we need to bother with changing it?
The initial reason for Daylight Savings was to make use of the sunlight on long summer days instead of having to turn on lights. Hence the name Daylight Savings. We save electricity and therefore save money. The obvious problem with this argument is that in the winter we lose whatever savings we gained in summer when we turn on the lights an hour earlier in the evening.
We could make arguments either way but in the end of the day (no pun) it just makes more sense from a parenting perspective. In todayâ€™s age of technology we often struggle with the fact that our kids spend more time on the computer than outdoors playing with friends. If you live in warmer climates playing outdoors anytime during the summer months is a challenge. Where I currently live the average temperature in the summer months is around 35c (95F). Kids cant play for long hours outdoors in that temperature. The best time of the year to be outdoors is during the Fall and early and late Winter. How does it make sense that the sun sets at 4:30pm? What is the rush get the stars out?
So in a nutshell, here are my arguments for keeping Daylight Savings around the whole year:
- More daylight. This is the strongest argument for several reasons. One we can leave work while there is still light outside. If there is one thing depressing about working 9-5 its that its nighttime when you leave work.
- Kids have more daylight hours to play outside in warmer climates. My kids get home from school around 4:00pm. Becuase the weatehr is so nice they are out past sunset. But if the sunsets at 4:45pm by the time they are done with their homework its dark outside.
- More daylight means more daylight driving. There are plenty of studies that show that accidents are more common at night than during the day. So why make the day shorter?
- Neighborhoods are safer when there is more light outside. It doesnt matter if its 5pm in the afternoon or 2 in the morning. Certain neighborhoods become more dangerous once its dark outside regardless what time of day it is.
I’m sure as a parent of older and younger children there are others out there who agree with me. While I dont expect any changes to made anytime in the near future, its definitely an issue worth revisiting.
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