March 12 is the Start of Daylight Saving Time

Don't forget to "Spring" ahead!

By Kyrie Collins and Laura Miller March 9, 2017
Confessions of a night owl: spring ahead is HARD! Not only do I "forget" to go to bed earlier, but my kids' sleep schedules are unpredictable for at least a week, and I often don’t know what time it is because I usually forget to change the clock in my car. It never fails, that is the one clock I overlook... for days! And sometimes longer!

If you have a little question-asker like I do, come Saturday night, he/she will wonder why you need to set the clock ahead an hour. Well, the short answer is that daylight saving time is starting. The long answer is to explain WHY we have daylight saving time in the first place.

The first time daylight saving happened was during World War I to save electricity in the evening because it gave us an extra hour of daylight after work in the summer months. There is some disagreement about whether the trouble of getting SO many people to adjust to a new time is worth the savings -- I’m definitely just along for the ride on that one. However, if we were to stop DST, it would really help me out with bedtime in the summer! “But it’s not dark yet, Mom!”

If that’s not enough info for your little inquisitor, you can read more about daylight saving time in general and DST in the United States on Wikipedia (I thought it was interesting to read about how some states have handled it ... especially those smart folks in Arizona who said "forget that!" And then there was the time the "Twin Cities" of Minnesota started DST in different weeks! How confusing!)

So, on Saturday night, before you go to bed, “spring ahead” an hour and remember that your kids are probably going to get up at the same time as usual, so go to bed early and get ready for whatever surprises your wee ones have in store.

The beginning (and end) of daylight saving time is great time of year to ...
  1. Find the one clock you own that does not turn itself back automatically (stove, coffee pot, microwave, or car most likely).
  2. Change the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
  3. Review and practice fire escape and family disaster plans.
  4. Inspect tires, headlights, taillights, and brake lights on all your vehicles.
  5. Inspect tires, brakes, and reflectors on bicycles and scooters.
  6. Turn and flip your mattresses.
  7. Check your medicines, vitamins, and first aid kits, replacing expired items and restocking items that have been used.
  8. Schedule needed doctor and/or dentist appointments.