Children are physiologically and psychologically different from adults. You must take these differences into account, and act accordingly, when you bring your children into the outdoors. Below are a few things to think about before you head outside with kids.
Small children live completely in the present and are easily distracted; this makes it difficult for them to remember and follow the new and unfamiliar rules that accompany outdoor activities. In addition, the hazards presented by outdoor living and adventure sports are different than those most children are accustomed to. Young children and children new to a specific outdoor activity must be closely monitored at all times. When you decide to bring a child into the outdoors, the trip must focus on the child's needs rather than your own; get your enjoyment by watching them explore, grow, and have fun.
Keep in mind that children are individuals and will not respond in the same way physiologically and psychologically. Common problems and solutions are discussed according to their mechanism below.
Trauma Related Concerns & Solutions
Environmental Related Concerns & Solutions
Medical Related Concerns & Solutions
Want more information on this and other wilderness medicine topics? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
Looking for a reliable field reference? Consider consider purchasing one of our print or digital handbooks; our digital handbook apps are available in English, Spanish, and Japanese. Updates are free for life. A digital SOAP note app is also available.