Spring is here, and as the weather begins to warm across the country, families are preparing for their annual outdoor trips going camping, hiking, fishing, etc. While spending time outdoors is a great way for families to bond and can teach kids important lessons about the world around them, outdoor trips and activities with kids requires extra safety precautions and considerations to keep them from getting into trouble.
Structure is important for kids, especially when going outdoors. Establishing a set of rules can keep them safe and ensure you aren’t worrying the entire time. Remind kids not to talk to strangers, set a certain distance they can walk away and play from mom or dad where they can still be monitored, remind kids the importance of staying on the trail, etc. A set of rules can keep kids from getting into trouble, prevent injuries, and make the trip more pleasant for everyone in the family.
Teach kids first aid
If kids are old enough to utilize bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, gauze and other common first aid kit items teach them about how to use them and when to use them. Older kids may wander on their own a bit, so it’s important they have a first aid kit on them at all times and they practice using different items and learning their purposes. This can help them avoid infections and allow them to have more confidence exploring the outdoors.
Check for safety
Some campgrounds will have playgrounds for kids. But before allowing them to swing on monkey bars or go down the slide, parents should always check the play areas for safety. There could be broken glass bottles on the ground, the equipment could be wobbly, and there may be kids already playing that are a little too rough for your child. Parents taking a few minutes to check the playground can ensure the safety of their children, while also putting their mind at ease and give them time to unpack at the campground.
Get the proper gear
While you may be fine to wear your t-shirt and shorts, kids of any age need extra protection and gear. And they younger they are, the more protected they need to be. Ensure kids have sturdy and protective shoes, multiple outfit changes depending on the weather, if you’re hiking ensure they have long socks or pants to protect their legs, etc. For younger kids just learning to walk, investing in protective pants can make a huge difference. Sandra Aris creates stylish, innovative pants for kids using 3D padded technology found in motocross, motorbike and ski apparel. The pants absorb the shock from falls and protect kids from bumps and bruises.
Keep them cool
Kids will suffer from heat exhaustion quicker than adults because their bodies heat up faster. Ensure kids are drinking enough water and staying hydrated. It can also help to slow down your pace and match theirs, so they aren’t pushed too far too fast. Make sure to take breaks for meals and snacks too. Looking at the weather ahead of time can also help plan appropriate outfits for kids. Dress them light but be sure they aren’t too cool. Taking frequent breaks in the shade can also help them cool down and keep going.
Make some noise
No matter how well you’re watching them, kids have the potential to get lost outdoors. While teaching them to be aware of their surroundings, following trails, and how to find their way back is important, you can also teach them to make some noise. Giving young kids a whistle that they can carry around their neck or in a pocket can help them get loud and alert you that they’re lost. It is also beneficial to teach them to yell or scream for parents if they feel they’ve gotten too far from the campground, hiking group, or other people.
Spending time with kids outdoors is a great activity to help them explore and learn about the world around them. Kids are prone to getting into trouble or having accidents, but that shouldn’t hinder you from wanting to help them get outside to appreciate mother nature. Parents shouldn’t worry the entire trip outdoors but should always keep extra safety precautions in mind when heading outside with kids of any age.