How to keep children safe outdoors
A spirit of discovery and inexhaustible energy. That combination is behind a lot of childhood injuries. So we’ve put together a few tips to keep children safe when outdoors and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
The rules help define safe boundaries. Within the boundaries, children can move freely; outside they must be careful. Keep telling children how to behave outside. Talk about how to prevent accidents in the school garden, in the woods or on the road. Also tell children that they must not eat anything they find outside without your permission.
Talk about the potential danger,
but don’t scare unnecessarily.
Children raised in sterile environments with perfect protection tend to be less resilient.
Rather, guide children to learn to live with a certain degree of danger so that they can recognize and avoid it early.
We probably don’t need to point this out to you, but still: Don’t leave your children unsupervised. Even in forest nurseries, keep your children in sight or at least within earshot.
Ideally go to the garden, for a walk or in the woods in pairs so that if necessary one teacher stays with the group while the other takes care of the (wet, soaked, injured) child. Please note that according to Decree No. 14/2005 on pre-school education, there can be a maximum of 20 children per teacher in a regular class or 12 children in a class with children under 3 years of age or with children granted support measures.
Why children need to be outdoors can be found in the article
How to do outdoor learning activities for preschoolers.
Keep an eye on the area in which children move, whether it is the school garden, a nearby park or the open countryside. Always scan the area and look out for poisonous plants, animal excrement, broken glass or used syringes.
TIP: : In the spring or autumn, involve your kindergarten in the nationwide clean-up event Let’s Clean Up the Czech Republic. Invite colleagues and parents with children and together clean up the area around your kindergarten or walking route of potentially dangerous rubbish.
Check garden equipment regularly for damage or sunburn. Whether a climbing frame in the playground or a tree in the woods singled out for climbing, make sure the play features are age appropriate for children. They should allow children to practice dexterity, but should not be too much of a challenge. Only allow children to climb where they can and where they can climb themselves.
Take inspiration from the practice of forest nurseries. If you are going out into nature with your children, carry a backpack that includes: a mobile phone with contacts for the children’s guardians, a first aid kit, a rain sheet (for shelter), a fleece blanket (for warmth), a large car mattress (for sitting or changing), a universal spare change of clothes, a shovel, wet wipes, paper tissues, a roll of plastic bags, string, a bottle of clean water.
Advise parents to give their children shoes suitable for the terrain and breathable clothing made of functional materials.
it is advisable to apply the principle of layering.
- The first layer should keep the body dry (functional underwear).
- The second layer keeps the body warm (sweatshirt).
- The third layer protects against external influences such as water, wind, cold (softshell jackets and trousers).
Protection against insects
Ticks can transmit serious infectious diseases. Therefore, keep the grass low in the main area of the school garden and avoid low undergrowth in mixed woodland in the open countryside. Protect yourself with repellent. Advise parents to give children sturdy footwear and light colored clothing with long sleeves and trousers.
If the tick still settles on someone, proceed as follows:
- Disinfect the attachment site.
- Pick the tick with a special card or notched hook and pull it out.
- If using tweezers, grasp the tick close to the head, as close to the skin as possible. Gently wiggle it from side to side until you can pull it out.
- After removing the tick, disinfect the site of attachment again.
- Safely dispose of the extracted tick. It is best to wrap it in a piece of paper and burn or flush it. Do not squash the tick or dispose of it in the trash.
For allergy sufferers, an encounter with a bee, wasp or hornet is potentially dangerous. A local allergic reaction is usually manifested by redness and swelling around the injection site. Caution should be taken if the mouth, pharynx or upper respiratory tract is affected, as there is a risk of narrowing of the airways. A severe anaphylactic reaction can lead to life-threatening conditions.
If the little allergic got stung, act as follows:
- Without delay, give the affected person medication from their emergency package to blunt the acute immune system response.
- If the sting is stuck, scrape it out with your fingernail. Do not try to remove it with your fingers or tweezers, you could push the contents of the venom sac into the wound.
- Cool the injection site as quickly as possible to prevent swelling from developing.
- Severe reactions most often occur within the first 15 minutes of an insect sting. In the event of a severe allergic reaction, immediately use an adrenaline autoinjector, administer first aid and call 155
Protection from sun and heat
The sun’s rays can be dangerous. Keep your children in the shade. Protect children’s sensitive skin from sunburn with sunscreen. Don’t let children go out in direct sunlight without head coverings or sunglasses.
On hot summer days, make sure your children drink more than ever. Take regular drink breaks during play and think of ways to make it fun.
Everything you need to know about heat illnesses can be found in the article
ATo prevent children from overheating in summer – prevention and first aid.
First aid kit and first aid
Some accidents cannot be prevented even with the best efforts. So always have a first aid kit handy. Check the contents of your first aid kit regularly, refill it and keep an eye on expiry dates. Also brush up on basic first aid.
Safety always comes first, and this is doubly true when moving outdoors.
But if you consider the risks, set clear rules and stay alert, you don’t have to worry about outdoor activities.
There are lots of amazing adventures waiting for the kids outside..
Share exciting children’s experiences with parents. Show them the joy of exploring the world around them.
Join the Twigsee app and share photos or videos of the event.
Let them know at home what great things you do together at preschool.
14. 7. 2023 | Martina Zatloukalová