It is always a great thing to get your kids to go on outdoor adventures with you.
Too many kids nowadays have the luxury of technology in their homes, but not many are getting many outdoor activities. Although it’s okay for kids to enjoy their video games, you might also want to get them into other activities that will get their body moving.
One such activity that you can do with the outdoors would be hiking. It’s always a fun time to go hike with your family, and even more so with your kids.
If this interests you, here are eight safety precautions that you should think of when hiking with your kids:
1. Use the buddy system
Children can be a handful, even when you believe that your kid is well-behaved. Plus, sometimes, they don’t know any better, so enacting a buddy system is essential.
If you’re going to hike with a group of people, the buddy system is perfect for ensuring that there’s someone always looking out for one another at all times.
Even if it’s for something as simple as going to the bathroom or walking a few feet away, the buddy system ensures that there’s someone who will always be with your kid.
Emphasize to your kids the importance of sticking together, no matter what. That way, they would stick to their buddy.
2. Bring a first aid kit
Although hiking can be as challenging or as easy as you want it to be, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any accidents that can happen.
Even if you’re going on a little hike on a trail near your home, you should still consider bringing a first aid kit with you. It would be even better if each person who’s on the hike with you have their supplies with them.
There are plenty of places where you can buy a first aid kit that’s small and compact so you can bring it with you. In case any accidents happen or you need some form of medical attention, the first aid kits will help you with these.
3. Teach them about trails hazards
Too many parents don’t communicate with their kids, making it harder for them to monitor their actions. The reason behind this may be because of a sense of protectiveness.
But your children will undoubtedly benefit more from knowing what they should and shouldn’t do, especially when on a hike.
Before you go on the hike, teach your kids about the potential trail hazards they could encounter. Both flora and fauna need a warning, so make sure that you tell them which plants and animals to avoid.
In the case of animals, tell them not to approach the animals as much as possible. You have to teach them the satisfaction of merely observing an animal in its natural state.
4. Prepare for weather changes
Before you go hiking anywhere, the first thing you should probably look into would be the weather reports.
You have to look at the weather reports and forecasts before going on the hike to know what you should be bringing with you.
However, sometimes, even if you do your research, the weather might still be different when you get there. Sometimes, the forecasts say it will rain, but it doesn’t. It’s worse if you expect the weather to be sunny all day, but it ends up raining on you.
That’s the reason why it’s a good idea to bring a lightweight rain jacket for you and your kids when you’re out hiking.
Whether it’s sunny or rainy, the lightweight rain jacket can help protect you should the weather take a turn for the worst.
5. Pack more food and water
You need food and water if you want to make it through the hike safe and hydrated. It would be best if you had your kids bring a pack of food and water for themselves.
However, you should also prepare if they don’t pack enough of it to satisfy them. Thus, make sure that you pack more food and water than you think.
Bringing a water filter with you is also a good idea. Remember to teach your kids to drink water as they go along, and not wait until they’re incredibly thirsty to start drinking.
You should also tell them not to litter if they’re eating anything that could have packaging on it.
6. Use safety bands
You never want to lose your child or separate from them while in the middle of a hike. However, if anything happens where you’re unable to supervise and protect your child, you want to give them the best chance of survival.
One way to do that is by attaching safety bands to your kids. The safety bands will contain all the relevant information about your kid. This could come in handy in case you got separated from your kids.
It includes the parents’ name, contact details for emergencies, the name of your kid, the kid’s medical conditions, and so on.
7. Bring proper gear
Even if it’s a short day hike, it would be a good start to give your kids some proper hiking gear right from the get-go.
It’s going to teach them how to move around while lugging all that gear with them. At the same time, they’re protected and have all the right equipment to succeed on a hiking trip.
Of course, the right hiking gear shouldn’t only be the physical equipment they bring with them. It should also include the knowledge that they need to succeed during a hike.
Hopefully, they won’t need to apply these survival skills, but as much as possible, you want to teach these skills to them as well.
8. Keep them in sight
Although hiking’s greatest lesson is self-confidence, independence, and responsibility, your kids are still kids. They are going to be prone to mistakes. Therefore, you should make sure that your kids are always in your sights.
It would be best if you also communicated to your kids the importance of seeing you back.
Your kids are free to walk around, but they should still be aware that everyone’s safety must stay together. Even if they step away to go to the bathroom, make sure that they’re not so far away that they can get lost.
Again, the buddy system can help with ensuring this doesn’t happen.
Hiking with kids is a chance for you to teach your kids multiple life lessons: from independence to practical life skills. However, hiking can still have a set of challenges and dangers.
That’s why these eight safety precautions should help you hike safely and securely even when you bring your kids with you.
Next time you go on a hike if you plan to bring your kids along with you, make sure you run through this list first.