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Two important safety tips for hiking with young children (that you may not have thought of before)

Hiking is a great family activity, but you need to take precautions.
Hiking is a great family activity, but you need to take precautions.
Kathy L. Harris

Sure, you know to use sunscreen, dress in layers, drink lots of water and be on alert for wildlife when you’re hiking, and you’ve likely taught your kids to do the same.

But here are two lesser-known tips to teach your kids before heading out for a hike, or a fishing or camping trip, when your youngster could wander away from you and get lost in the great outdoors.

(Tips courtesy of “Staying Safe While Enjoying the Great Outdoors,” by Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., on the Pampers Parenting Network.)

1. Pack a large garbage bag in your child’s backpack. A garbage bag can become a life-saving shelter. Teach your children that it can protect them from water and cold if they get lost and have to remain outside. Show them how the garbage bag can be used:

  • Put the open end of the bag over your head like you put on a shirt or sweater.
  • Find the hole that was made in the bottom and poke your head through. (You will need to make the hole for your kids before you put it in the backpack.)
  • Huddle underneath, tucking the bag around you.

2. Add a loud whistle to the pack, as well. Teach your children to blow this emergency whistle only if they are lost. (This may be a tad harder than it sounds when you're dealing with a preschooler.)

Read more Colorado hiking topics here.

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