The outdoors are a great place for your kids to get active and learn about the world.
But before you go on plans of hiking, camping, and other great adventures that await, thinking ahead about everyone’s safety does pay off.
So, before you let your children loose in the nice weather, it is vital to stress the importance of safety in your upcoming trip:
1. CHECK WEATHER CONDITIONS
Always keep your eye or the current or predicted weather conditions of your destination. Also, keep in mind the weather changes rather quickly.
Be aware of the signs of approaching storms or other changing weather conditions. Try to stay away from exposed ridgetops and places, streams, and lone trees should any lightning storms occur. Also, look for shelter in a dense forest that has a lower elevation.
Even during the summer months, prolonged exposure to the rain and wind can cause hypothermia.
2. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR KIDS AT ALL TIMES
You can give the older kids permission to venture further out in the trail, as its an excellent way to instill confidence in them and reinforce the basic survival skills you taught them as well.
Set the rules and let them know what your expectations are before you permit them to wander. You can also utilize a GPS tracking system that allows you to monitor your kids’ location or use a pair of walkie talkies for communication.
Also, take extra precautions when your kids are in the water. Be on the lookout for steep back edges that swiftly drop on water or slippery areas that would make them lose their footing.
If you are wading in the water, stay in shallow areas that have excellent footing, a stable current, and a safe entry point.
3. BE PREPARED FOR INJURIES
Parenting, especially when you are outdoors, requires a lot of preparation. You can take a first aid class that would allow you to identify and treat common illnesses and injuries such as hypothermia, dehydration, and heatstroke.
Also, never leave your home without bringing a first aid kit. Carrying a basic first aid kit along with you is vital especially when you are doing any sort of outdoor activity.
Ideally, your kit should be well-stocked and that none of the medications are expired. Most basic first-aid kits that you can buy in the market come fully stocked. It could be handy to bring a kit that is convenient enough to toss in your backpack.
4. BRING PROPER GEAR AND EQUIPMENT
Whether you are going to rise a bike, canoe, take a hike, or camp, you need to bring and wear the right protective gear. Ensure that everyone in your family brings the right equipment for your activity.
If you are planning to go hiking, bring sturdy, hiking shoes, and a handy rain jacket with you. If the kids want to spend the day biking, take helmets with you. If you opt for fun watersports activities, make sure that everyone wears a life vest.
It is also vital that you check all equipment from the beginning and end of every season when you decide to take it out or put it away. Before you leave, see to it that all your gear and equipment are in top shape.
5. PACK ONLY ESSENTIALS
The essentials that you need to bring along will vary depending on your situation. In most cases, it is vital to bring a lot of food and water.
When thinking about what to pack for food and snacks, strategically think about the proteins that you want to bring along that will provide you and your kids that most fuel to stay active throughout the entire duration of the activity.
Bring sunscreen to protect their skin from harsh UV rays. Not to mention that sunscreens have to be reapplied often, especially if one is sweating, on a beach, or pool.
Also, think about shelter, warmth, and navigation. When going hiking or camping, for instance, bring along a rope, a couple of matches, a compass and a knife. This will allow you to build the things that you do not have like making a shelter or a fire.
6. DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE
No matter what your activity is, you need to make sure that everything is hydrated and is drinking plenty of water.
By being outside for prolonged periods, it is quite easy for one to be dehydrated, or suffer from heat exhaustion. Bring extra water with you just in case.
Children most especially, when they are doing outdoor activities, will sweat profusely. You need to also educate them on the dangers of dehydration, and why it is important to replenish their bodies with water and not those sugary drinks.
7. NEVER LET THEM CONSUME ANYTHING THEY FIND OUTDOORS
Children will naturally be curious. They might come across plants, mushrooms, and berries when roaming outdoors.
You should make it clear to them that what they see on TV or the internet is not always safe to eat, most especially if it comes from the wild.
8. CHOOSE AN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY THAT YOUR KIDS ARE CAPABLE OF DOING
You must recognize what you and your children are perfectly capable of doing right from the start.
Do not try to overdo it by planning a hiking trip or a canoeing adventure that you could not handle. Chances are, you might be inexperienced enough to handle that kind of situation.
Also, tell some of your close friends and family where you are going before the trip, as well as how long you will possibly be gone.
Give details of the specific trails and campsites that you would be visiting. That way, if ever something untoward will happen on your trip, someone could report it to the proper authorities.
As a parent, the safety of your kids should always be your top priority.
No matter what kind of outdoor activities that your family enjoys, you can do these small things to ensure that everyone is safe.
That way, you will have a good time with little no interruptions because of injuries and other untoward incidents.