In most states, spring has sprung early this year! This means that children will be outdoors playing and exploring. Nature walks are a great way to explore the flora, fauna, birds, and insects are all around you. However, it is important to educate your child of possible unfamiliar threats of nature, like snakes, bees, thorns, poison ivy, and other similar items. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about what they may encounter outdoors this spring.
Kids Health (Bees, Poison Ivy, Camping Safety)
The Kids Health website has a wealth of information, written specifically for children, about outdoor safety. Links include how to spot poison ivy, what to do if you get a bee sting, what happens if you accidently swallow a bug, and camping safety. Since it is specifically written for children incorporating audio and highlighted words as the child reads through the page, it is a great resource to review with your child. This is an excellent resource so children know what poison ivy looks like or the difference between a bee and a wasp.
This website also has an entire section devoted to sun safety. It is also important to think about protecting children from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and appropriate clothing. This site allows children to learn about UVA and UVB rays, sunburn, skin cancer, and how to protect themselves from the sun when they are outdoors.
Learning about Snakes
One resource for children to learn more about snakes is kids biology. This website has a database of animals. You choose the type of animal, and then you can learn more about the different varieties. The information, written for children, includes facts like size, class, eating habits, and where they live. It also has a picture, so the child would know what it looks like.
Another website for children to learn specifically about snake safety is from an article on National Geographic Kids. The article is about a couple who run a snake removal company. The article includes facts about where snakes like to hide, their importance to our eco system, and what you should do if confronted with a snake.
General Outdoor Safety Tips
There are many outdoor safety tips that go even beyond nature that should be taken into account when children play outside. An Epinions article on keeping your child safe when playing outdoors is a great parent online resource. This article covers safety at the playground, dehydration, heat stroke, swimming, bike riding, insect repellents, ticks and other nature’s creatures, and general safety tips.
Educating your child on the dangers of nature should not be a negative experience to frighten your child from heading outdoors this spring, however they should have the knowledge to be confident explorers and feel safe playing outside. This information can help them to stay safe and to know what to do in case of an emergency.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
Picture By Michael Flick
ree Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com