Play Advice

Top 10 Safety Tips for Letting Your Kids Play Outdoors

Kids learn a lot of important skills through outdoor play. A variety of outdoor play equips them with dexterity and increases their emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. While outdoor play is essential during childhood, it is a parent’s duty to make sure their children are safe.

Most parents acknowledge that it is not easy to control their kids, especially once they reach the adventurous stage. If parents are unfamiliar with the region around their home, they should be cautious when sending their children to engage in outdoor activities. Dressing kids with proper safety equipment reduces chances of injuries significantly.

Even if the play area is viewed as safe, kids require proper supervision to ensure that they are protected from any harm. Since “prevention is better than cure,” children should be alerted to the danger they face as they explore the wondrous outdoors, especially since young and energetic kids are always prone to injuries.

The risk of getting into trouble should not be used as an excuse to prevent kids from participating in outdoor activities since it is a natural part of childhood. Their endless curiosity, ability to bounce back from stumbles, and burning desire to explore makes it important to develop some basic safety guidelines, which regulate their movement and behavior. The following are the top ten safety tips for letting your kids play outdoors:

Limit the play area by establishing boundaries that mark the safe play area

Let your kids understand that it is unsafe to roam or play on the street. Make it a routine to fetch their toy or ball for them if it accidentally goes into the road or any other part of the street. For safety precautions, kids play area should be limited to the backyard or front side of the house. However, they should be granted more freedom of exploration when they mature enough to make reasonable decisions on their own.

Never allow kids to speak or accept gifts from strangers

Strangers with ill intentions tend to lure kids using gifts. As a precautionary measure, children should be advised to run away from strangers who approach them. Furthermore, they should be advised to call for help if the stranger follows them.

Kids should be prohibited from roaming alone

Kids should not be allowed to give any excuse for exploring beyond the range of supervision. Older kids hiking with friends should be advised not to leave the group.

Ensure that the environment surrounding the play area is safe

Children should study the surrounding and environment before engaging in complex play. Playgrounds and fields may contain hazards that may inflict injuries on kids. Although it might pose a challenge to expose some hidden hazards, it is vital to examine the play area to ensure that it is free from broken glass, sharp objects and other hazardous objects.

It is important for kids to study the weather changes

It is not appropriate for them to play outside or go hiking on days with forecasted lightning and thunderstorms. Inform the kids that sunny days might sometimes experience unexpected weather changes. In the event of drastic weather changes, they should not shelter under a tree. The best alternative is to rush and seek shelter at home.

Prevent dehydration

Kids should make hydration a routine. Most kids sweat while engaging in outdoor activities. They should be informed about the dangers of dehydration and be advised to replenish their water reservoir with clean water rather than sugary drinks. They should consume 12 ounces of water before they begin to play. Since their gulp is equivalent to a half-ounce of fluid, drinking about ten gulps of water every 20 minutes will help prevent dehydration. Caregivers and parents should also check signs of dehydration, which include thirst, headache, dry or sticky mouth, muscle cramping, extreme fatigue, irritability, weakness, decreased performance or dizziness.

Applying sunscreen to prevent skin exposure

It is vital for kids to protect their skin from the incoming harmful rays from the sun using sunscreen. Applying sunscreen on kid’s skin maintains the natural condition of the skin regardless of the sun’s heat intensity. The sunscreen should often be reapplied if they’re sweating or swimming.

Use of protective garments and equipment

Wear protective garments and equipment before engaging in a risky activity or sport. The ideal clothing for outdoor activities should be thin-layered and long-sleeved. It promotes breathing and protects against bugs, scratches, the sun and other ill effects. It is recommended to wear a helmet when participating in a bike ride. If the play area is prone to cold, children can also wear cold weather clothing, gloves, and the right footwear.

Create bug awareness

Advising kids to apply bug spray is vital, especially if they are planning to hike through the woods. Adventurous kids might be attacked by ticks that cause harmful diseases such as Lyme disease. Extra precaution should also be taken by checking for ticks after their arrival from the woods or unkempt playfield. Ticks tend to thrive in moist, warm, woodsy areas. Kids intending to visit such areas should wear long garments to cover their skin.

Warn kids against consumption of anything they find outdoors

Due to curiosity, kids might consume wild mushrooms, berries or plants that might be harmful to their health. Warn them that the adventurous programs they watched on TV were misleading.

Conclusion

The safety of your kid should not be a reason for locking your kid indoors. Denying kids the right to play and hike retards their growth and development. Parents should not be overwhelmed by the above information and deny their kids a chance to show their innovativeness and creativity by engaging in outdoor activities. Rather, they should use the above safety tips whose adherence guarantees kids’ safety.

It is also advisable to create a survival kit, which should contain items such as a cell phone, medications for chronic conditions, water, antibiotic cream for scrapes & cuts, bandages, crushable icepacks for bruises, Benadryl, sun protection, hats & sunglasses, tweezers, insect repellent and an epi-pen for kids with preexisting allergies.

So, whether your kid is younger and needs a play mat, baby gate or play yard or if you kid is older and can play freely on his or her own, please follow safety guidelines so they can be safe.

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