It’s safe to say that kids nowadays are getting less and less exposed to the wonders of the world in real life, even though they get to see it using the internet or media it’s still not the same experience as actually doing something.
But there are plenty of all sorts and kinds of fun outdoor activities to introduce to your child! The only thing you should worry about is taking safety precautions, the rest will be fine, so here’s how to make kayaking safe for children!
Get Proper Gear
First and probably one of the most important things you need to do before going on your kayaking trip – is getting the proper gear for your child. Experts at FantasticKayaks.com state that getting essentially good gear will make or break your kayaking experience. This especially implies when you are getting gear for your child, you want to get the safest, top quality stuff you can find. A helmet and a life west are absolute must-haves in this situation, even if your child can swim, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Also make sure to bring a hook, as chances are your child will get tired super easily, especially on their first try – so this way you can tow their kayak when they don’t have enough strength to paddle anymore!
If we’re not working under the assumption that your kids are used to water, we can get them started with rafts so they can get used to the feeling of being on the water. We know that rafts may be annoying to setup but at least there are few packrafts for sale that can fit in your packs. That’s one less thing to worry about.
Regardless of how old your child is, it’s always best to keep an eye on them at all themes. Especially when you are in situations involving water. Having your child in front of you while kayaking is probably the safest option – this way you can monitor their every move and also react fast if something happens. At least be next to your child and talk to them when you first start your kayaking adventure, they might get nervous from the water, so make sure they are fully comfortable and assure them that they are safe!
Give Them Proper Training
Before jumping into your kayaking adventure, you need to explain to your child how things work beforehand, as this could help a lot once you are on the field. There are certain rules you should teach your child, like how to properly paddle, or what to do if the kayak accidentally flips – like the ‘’wet exit’’ technique, used to properly get out of your kayak whilst underwater. A lot of things could go wrong, but at the same time, it’s always better to go prepared and keep calm once something actually does happen. Your child needs to understand the basic rules, before actually sitting down in a kayak, as it will help out a lot, and it will also ease your nerves knowing that your child is well informed and ready!
Make Sure The Conditions Are Good
After getting all the proper gear, teaching your child the ends and means of kayaking, there is another safety precaution you should think about, and that is choosing a nice time to go kayaking. You have no idea how bad weather can affect and put you and your child in danger.
Rain and storms are the worst kinds of conditions, but also extremely high temperatures can also be a problem. It’s best to find a middle ground, and not forget to put sunscreen on you and your child, regardless of how mild the sun is. This is key to ensuring you have the best time possible during your kayaking adventure, and not suffer the consequences afterward, sunburns are not fun!
Have The Essentials With You
Once you get all your kayaking gear, you probably don’t want to forget about the small things too! Even if you plan on going out for a few hours, you should have some snacks with you at all times, even a full meal if needed – you never know when your child will get hungry and exhausted from all the paddling, so chances are they’ll need to fill up. Another must is water or tea to keep your child hydrated! Also bring a first aid kit, as you never know what could happen. If your child falls or gets hut somehow you’ll need bandages and stuff that’s going to keep the wound from getting wet.
Like any activity outdoors, you need to be careful and think of everything, as it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is particularly important when dealing with children, you need to pay double the attention when doing stuff out and about. But all in all, kayaking is a fun and generally safe outdoor activity, if done correctly of course! Chances are your children will adore you for giving them such an exciting new experience!