Being Prepared

Outdoor Kids

Outdoor ParentingOutdoor Parenting & Safety

Submitted by Melissa Edge of

Before your tyke came along everything was about you, your needs and your safety. Now things have changed a bit, safety is more important and especially for your tyke.

When enjoying the great outdoors, hitting the trail or out camping there are safety precautions you should take. You can’t prevent every mishap but you can eliminate the severity of the outcome if you are prepared.

Here are my tips on being prepared when venturing outdoors.

You should always travel with a pediatric first aid kit that has items appropriate for your tykes age. It is always better to be prepared for an emergency even though the chances of needing it are slim. Know how to use the items in the first aid kit and make sure they are up to date.

Be familiar with the area you are exploring. Bring a map, GPS or book that will help with directions and know how to use them, especially, if it is an area you have never been before. It’s always a great idea to have something to reference.

If your tyke is old enough to hike give them a whistle that is attached to their clothing or worn around their neck. Instruct them how to use it and when – only for emergencies! Do not let them stray out of sight and let them know what a safe distance is from you. Also, dressing them in bright colors helps to spot them easier.

Always check the weather before heading out and wear the appropriate clothing. Layering is a good idea. You can always remove layers but it is hard to add them if you don’t come prepared. Remember the younger your tyke the more sensitive they are to outdoor temperatures. Make sure they have appropriate clothing, as well.

Teach your tykes not to put their hands where their eyes cannot see. Insects, snakes and other creatures could be lingering in small holes, under fallen logs, or between rocks that can be dangerous to their little hands. Stinging, biting or heaven forbid something worse could happen.

Outdoor ParentingWhen camping or backpacking store your food safely and know the rules of the area. If you are in bear country know the precautions to take with your food. Bears have a very keen sense of smell and can track down food miles away. Never ever store your food in your tent.

Since your tyke is along for the adventure and their care is in your hands know how to spot dehydration, hypothermia, hyperthermia (heat stroke), and altitude sickness. These are maladies that young tykes can be sensitive to.

Familiarize yourself with poison ivy and poison oak. Especially, if it is known in the area you will be visiting. Tykes like to wonder off trail and explore and coming into contact with poison ivy or poison oak could make for one miserable tyke.

If your adventure is in an area where ticks prevail you want to have a tick checking party after your adventure or every night while camping. Check each other in your group from head to toe for the pesky insects.

Taking safety precautions will help you enjoy your adventures and help you prevent unnecessary mishaps.

What other outdoor parenting safety precautions have I missed?

Last modified: June 20, 2013

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