The most treasured memories of childhood often involve activities done with families. A favorite memory from a childhood Christmas is less likely to be unwrapping a toy, than a memory of baking a pie with grandmother. Getting small children out into the great outdoors, for a summer adventure, is a great way to give them fond memories that will last a lifetime. Here are some ways to keep those little ones safe and healthy along the way, without being a helicopter parent.
- Protect them from the sun
Damage from sunburn as a child is more dangerous than a sunburn in an adult. Just one bad sunburn when they are little can double their chances of getting skin cancer as an adult. Be sure to use sunscreen on them and be sure to reapply it after swimming.
- Keep away the bugs
If you are camping or having some other outdoor adventure, being eaten alive by mosquitoes or chiggers can spoil a kids fun. Bring insect repellent along. Those brands with the chemical Deet are most effective and is safe. If you would rather use a natural variety, ones with Eucalyptus or Citronella work well. If camping out, mosquito nets work well. A clear, odorless spray with the active ingredient Permethrin is available, to treat fabric, such as clothing, tents and sleeping bags. It will effectively repel mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and other biting insects for 42 days.
- Make sure they have good shoes
Small children are not always very graceful. A few scraped knees are part of childhood and can not totally be prevented. However, poor fitting or damaged footwear can cause a bad fall on uneven terrain. Pack each child at least a good pair of sandals and a pair of athletic shoes. For small children, the Tea Collection has nice sandals. If they are going to be stomping around in rivers or rocky creeks, going in with athletic shoes with a non-slip sole is wise, to prevent falls and feet cuts.
- Have an emergency plan
On any outing, whether it be in a strange city or the woods, kids should know what to do if they get separated from you. It could be something as simple as “If we get separated, meet back at the car.” Or if you are traveling in a city, have the child carry a piece of paper in their pocket with your name, phone number and the hotel where you are staying. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Put down the phone
The easiest way to keep a child safe and happy on a trip is to pay attention and interact with them. Put down the smartphone and play with your kids. Have some fun. That is why you are out here!