ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keep Kids Safe In The Woods

Updated on March 20, 2011

Summer is peak time to bolster a child's education outside the boundaries of the schoolyard. But before parents head to the woods or mountains, park and wildlife officials want them to learn a few lessons.

The first order of business has to do with parent education. People think, 'What could happen, it's the woods?' But 'the woods' has its own set of rules. There are some parents who have a lot of experience and some that really don't have any outdoor experience, and they're blown away that there's wildlife out there, that it's not a Disney kind of ride.

Keeping children in the line of sight is a good start, but it's not enough. Don't allow your kids to scamper away too far, even if you can see them. Not only is there the danger of wildlife, they could fall into a stream, or fall off a large rock, breaking arms, breaking heads.

Children are apt to dig, grab and taste new and possibly harmful substances. Kids will put just about anything in their mouth at any age. Make sure they don't eat berries or other wild herbage that might look tasty to eat.

Know What's Out There

Rattlesnakes sun themselves along the trails and, like most wildlife encountered, just need to be given some room. However, snakes usually will do their best to get away from noisy pint-sized hikers. The same is true for other critters.

Encounters between people and mountain lions, and certainly attacks, are extremely rare but not unheard of. Wildlife is most active at dawn and at dusk, when your visibility isn't as good. There's no set convention for types of wildlife that have run-ins with their two-legged counterparts. There are a number of species out there - bears, lions, coyotes, even red fox and other critters - that need to be given some room.

Prepare For The Worst

It's important for adults to set guidelines for children before anyone sets foot outside the SUV, but adults still should prepare for the worst.

Teach them about staying together, having a water bottle and something to eat. In the higher elevations, you lose water quickly and dehydration presents a new set of problems. Your brain is your most important tool - or your worst enemy - if you're not thinking straight.

If a child does get separated, well-prepared children need only look to the wisdom of Disney's Jiminy Cricket and "give a little whistle." A whistling device can be invaluable. Even park rangers, when they're out hiking, will take extra whistles to give out to hikers. Be sure to educate your children on proper use of whistles, because fellow outdoor enthusiasts shouldn't be subjected to cry-wolf whistle-blowing. Three blows on a whistle is the international distress signal.

The Hug-A-Tree program is also highly touted by park and wildlife officials. Children should be instructed that, if ever separated, they should stay put, hug a tree and wait to be found.

Parents should not be confident that their child will know how to use elaborate kits or gear. Compasses and maps are helpful in the hands of a youngster who knows how to use them, but a lot of them don't.

If your child does go missing, leave someone where the kid will look first then fan out to search - in doing so try not to get anyone else lost.

Keep Children Safe In The Woods

  • Set rules: Establish firm guidelines, instructions.
  • Animals: Heed posted wildlife warnings.
  • Whistle: Equip kids with a whistle. Instruct him or her to, if separated, blow three times, the international signal for distress. We found, above, a $5 whistle that registers at 118 decibels.
  • Hug a tree: Teach kids to stay put if separated from the group and hug the nearest tree in a grove, preferably one close to open area.

In addition to the above:

  • Dress for success: Bright colors are easy to spot. If you want to be less invasive, a reversible jacket with bright orange on the inside is a good idea.
  • Cell phone: A cell phone with geographic information system capabilities is always a good idea.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)