Saturday, April 13, 2013

Children more susceptible than adults to injuries when hiking

Avoidance of dangerous situations is the best strategy
for preventing child injuries when day hiking.
Because children lack body fat – or at least healthy ones do – they are more susceptible than adults to a number of injuries, such as hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, and sunstroke.

Because children are still developing, they have difficulty controlling their body temperatures, meaning they will succumb faster to an injury than an adult. Because they’re adventurous and still learning the ways of the world, they are more apt to suffer from falls and cuts and bruises than an adult. All of this makes understanding first aid for children a must for adults taking kids on a hike.

Practicing avoidance always is the best approach. If you watch where you’re going, your foot won’t land on the rake, shooting it in the air so it bonks your nose. But we are talking kids here. Some simply will forget your words of warning and others will not heed your advice. Sometimes you just stumble into bad luck. So you also must know how to treat the injury.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.