Encourage Your Kids to Safely Explore Outdoors
When the days get warmer, kids want to go outside and play.
Whether it’s in the backyard, at a park or at the local swimming pool, kids love to explore and learn about the world around them. It’s important to encourage their exploration, since outside play provides kids with a host of benefits. But how do you make sure they stay safe? Here are some ways to protect your children while they run and play outside.
Check the Yard
Before your kids go out to play, walk through the yard to see if there are any dangerous tools or objects that might cause your kids to get hurt. According to Settleinelpaso.com, “It’s easy to lose track of things over the winter, especially when they’ve been covered by snow for months, so look closely anywhere your kids like to play.” Search for garden rakes, pruning shears and sharp stones. These items are difficult to spot when the grass is tall, and can cause your little ones to get cuts or a sprained ankle.
Staying Away from Strangers
Teach your children that they should never speak to strangers. Consider organizing a neighborhood watch where members of the community all keep an eye out for the neighborhood kids. Tell your children they must always stay where you can see them when they play in the yard or at the park.
Going outside means coming into contact with insects. Kids can avoid potential bites and stings if they wear light-colored clothing. Some insects make a beeline for people wearing dark colors. Warn kids to be careful when lifting rocks and pieces of wood. Insects and animals could be hiding underneath. Depending on where you live, kids need to be on guard against scorpions, venomous snakes, black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders. In the evening, protect your kids from mosquito bites by covering their arms and legs. Use mosquito repellent to make the pesky bugs keep their distance.
Protect Kids from the Weather
Before going outside, don’t forget to slather sunscreen on the kids. Consider making them wear a hat for further sun protection. Keep them hydrated by providing them with plenty of water. When it’s winter, don’t forget to bundle them up. Not wearing the proper clothing when the temperature drops can lead to hypothermia.
Safekids.org reports that “among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old.” When your kids are near water, pay close attention to them. Younger children should always be within arm’s reach, while older kids should always swim with a buddy. Enroll your kids in swim classes so they know how to survive if they ever fall into a pool, pond or lake.
Encourage Your Kids to Explore
Organizing outdoor family activities is a wonderful way to encourage kids to explore nature and the world around them. Lead kids on a treasure hunt in the park, set up a tent in the backyard and pretend you’re camping in the woods, or build a bird feeder and hang it on a tree so the birds can feast on birdseed. Encourage free play as well. Playing outside provides an abundance of benefits for your kids. It decreases insomnia, boosts happiness and improves academic performance. It makes your child more creative, imaginative and confident. It even alleviates symptoms of ADHD.
Don’t keep your kids cooped up in the house. Allow them to get outdoors to breathe the fresh air, exercise their bodies and stimulate their minds. Whether exploring the backyard, hiking through the woods, going swimming or playing at the park, outside play is crucial for children’s development. Plan fun outdoor activities like camping or building bird feeders. No matter what types of activities your children enjoy, protect them by teaching important safety rules and dressing them appropriately for outdoor fun.