Planning an excursion?
No matter what time of the year it is, you and your child can find something fun to do in the great outdoors.
And while being outdoors can provide children with great educational experiences, physical exercise, and skill development, being prepared for a safe trip is highly important.
You can have a successful and memorable trip! Simply follow these five tips for outdoor safety for children.
1. Investigate the Area
No matter where you’re planning your outdoor trip, you’ll want to know what to expect. Look up weather forecasts, animals and plants to look out for (both good and bad), as well as any potentially dangerous parts of the area you’ll be in (such as rapid water, steep hills, slippery rocks, etc.).
Rather than making this a fearful endeavor, calmly discuss the different things you may see with your child and talk about what to do if you encounter them.
2. Make Hydration a Priority
Packing enough water is essential in every season. Even in cold weather, being in higher altitudes can make people dehydrate quickly without even knowing it.
This is especially important for your child. According to the Royal Children’s Hospital, children get dehydrated faster than adults.
Be sure to pack enough water for your trip. If you know that you’ll be outdoors for long periods, buying a hydration pack will serve you well- it can carry several liters of water and doubles as a backpack.
3. Pack a Safety Kit
Having a safety kit can be lifesaving. Be sure to stock up on the following items:
- Benadryl for allergic reactions, insect stings, and temporary snake bite aid
- Sunscreen and bug repellant for skin protection
- Snacks with a long shelf life (raisins, nuts, granola bars, etc.)
- Self-adhering bandage wraps, a variety of band-aids, and antibiotic ointment for scrapes and burns
- Water purifying tablets or a straw water filter (to use with naturally collected water safely if you run out of regular water)
- Walkie talkies for communication with your child/emergency communication with others
4. Discuss Outdoor Safety for Children
This doesn’t mean dumb down what adults should be doing, but it should entail potential dangers that children may be more likely to experience. Discuss rules for wilderness safety, communicating with strangers, and camping safety. Ultimately, this will help your child be more safe, self-aware, and confident in their actions during your trip.
5. Keep an Eye on Them
According to neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, the human brain is still developing until the age of 25, meaning that those who are younger still can’t fully process dangerous situations. It’s healthy to let children explore freely, but be sure that you’re close enough to intervene should they come across trouble. Even if they’re following the outdoor safety rules you discussed, accidents can happen.
Go Boldly Into the Wilderness
Outdoor safety for children does entail a little extra work. But ensuring that you and your child are following recreational safety rules will make this trip one for the books.
By following these rules and keeping your safety kit on hand, you’ll be ready for anything that crosses your path. Remember: play it safe, but keep it fun.
And should you need professional medical care along your way, we have your back.
Looking for more health and safety tips? Check out our blog today!