Taking Kids on a Hiking Trail
Backpacking with kids can be a rewarding experience, both for them and you. But there are some essential things to remember when taking kids on a hiking trail. Aside from safety and first aid preparation, here are some helpful hints to help make hiking with kids as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Wear Comfortable Gear and Clothing
Comfort is key when it comes to hiking with kids. Hiking shoes or boots should match the weather and terrain. Clothing should be lightweight and offer protection from the natural environment, such as repelling mosquitoes. Be sure to dress everyone for the weather.
Alternate Transport for Smaller Kids
Remember that tiny feet can tire easily. Parents of smaller kids may want to bring along a backpack carrier or all-terrain stroller. These are generally lightweight and can be used for the entire hike or just when the young child needs a rest.
Bring Plenty of Snacks and Water
In order to maintain endurance and energy, kids need to stay hydrated and nourished. Healthy snacks and a good supply of water can take care of that. Be sure an adult is carrying the main water supply, as that could get overbearing for children to manage. Ideally, each person should carry their own full water bottle. Beyond that, one or more adults can carry extra water.
Take Frequent Breaks
Don't forget that kids may need more frequent breaks than adults when hiking. This includes stopping for snacks and drinks. But it also includes simply resting or taking breaks to use the restroom. The point of the trip is to have fun, not to overwork the kids. Remember to take time out to enjoy nature along the backpacking trail.
Plan Route in Advance
Planning out the desired route in advance is the safest way to go when bringing kids along. You don't want to get lost while trying to create a fun time for the kids. It helps if you take a trail you've taken before. That way, you'll know what to expect. This way, you can show things to the kids and you know the distance and what to expect along the way.
Have a Fun Destination
Backpacking with kids can be enjoyable with or without a specific destination. However, making plans for a specific fun destination can be exciting to the kids. Think about the hiking area. Waterfalls and other natural landmarks are something kids can look forward to at the end of the trail. This can be a great motivator to keep going.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Kids can get pretty hungry on a hike. But some foods are no good in such a situation. It can be a challenge trying to find the perfect balance. A good hiking snack should be healthy, energizing, and lightweight. With kids, it's very important for snacks to be tasty as well. Otherwise, they are just not going to eat them and there's no point. As a former nanny turned homeschool mom, I have found the best hiking snacks for kids are those we make ourselves.
No, we're not talking those sugary concoctions they sell in the store. You can make your own snack bars for the kids. They'll taste better and be healthier too! That's a win-win for parents and kids both. First, spread about 2 cups of oats on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Next, take another baking sheet and line it with recycled aluminum foil. Grease the pan.
Mix together (in a bowl) the oats, 2 eggs, a cup brown sugar, 1tbsp canola oil, ½ cup almonds, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 tbsp flour, and 1 cup chopped dried fruit of choice. Spread this mixture out flat onto the baking sheet and put in oven for 20-30 minutes (until lightly browned). Let it cool and cut into even bars. Pack them along for a lightweight, energizing, and tasty snack for the kids.
Once again, this won't be a store-bought selection. Give your kids a tasty treat with less of the unhealthy stuff and more flavor and healthiness. Many foods can be used to create unique trail mix. Plain, cereals, such as Cheerios, are great for trail mix. Pretzels, nuts, and various dried fruits can also go into it. A healthy trail mix should include a variety of ingredients that balance together.
To make any of the below trail mix combinations, simply combine equal amounts of ingredients in a portable container. Be sure to use a container that is lightweight, easy to pack, and convenient to eat from. Let the kids help in making the trail mix. For fun, they can seal the container and shake it up. This blends the ingredients in a fun way. Hey, adults might like to loosen up and shake the trail mix, too! C'mon, it's fun! You know you want to!
Cereal Trail Mix Ingredients
Nutty Trail Mix Ingredients
Hearty Trail Mix Ingredients
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
When a baby gets a diaper rash, the sooner it goes away the better. The best way to get rid of a diaper rash or help to prevent getting one in the first place is to get to the root of the problem. Knowing the most common causes for diaper rash can help avoid future breakouts.
Many parents often wonder if they are at fault for the diaper rash. Diaper rashes are very common. Sometimes a diaper rash is caused by skin irritations that could have been prevented, but not every time. They also can occur for a variety of reasons that cannot always be avoided.
One of the most common and most preventable causes of diaper rash is diaper chafing. It can occur from having a soiled diaper or from the diaper rubbing the baby's skin. Soiled diapers can cause irritation to baby's sensitive skin. This type of skin irritation is very common and generally occurs when baby is allowed to wear a soiled diaper for too long.
Changing diapers frequently can prevent diaper rashes from occurring in this way. Being sure diapers are the proper size and are not too loose or tight can also prevent chafing from occurring.
Bacterial infections are also one of the more common diaper rash causes and can occur in various locations throughout the human body, the diaper area being one of them. Girls can get a yeast infection, which is one form of bacterial infection. There are also other bacterial infections that cause diaper rashes.
Impetigo is another common bacterial infection. Impetigo causes a blister-like diaper rash. Bacterial infections must be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. If your baby's diaper rash does not clear up in a day or so, make an appointment with your child's pediatrician to be sure it is not caused by a bacterial infection.
Some babies have more sensitive skin than others or may have allergies that will cause a diaper rash. Some common allergens that cause diaper rash are food allergies, fragrance, dyes, elastic diaper linings and artificial cloth fibers. All of these except the food products can be contained in your child's diaper, clothing, laundry detergent, bath soap and even diaper rash ointments.
All babies respond differently. However, choosing fragrance-free and dye-free items that use only natural fibers and ingredients can help avoid this type of situation, as can avoiding foods that contain artificial coloring and flavoring.
There are a variety of things that can produce allergens. If your child is getting a diaper rash frequently, it may be due to an allergy. It is best to see the child's pediatrician to figure out what might be causing the allergic reaction and determine what to do to avoid it in the future.
Eczema can occur in all areas of the skin, even the diaper area. Eczema usually shows up as patches of red, scale-like skin. It can also appear in different forms. With eczema, the skin will generally be very dry. Eczema can be treated with fragrance-free and dye-free cream lotions or with petroleum jelly.
If the eczema is severe, your child's pediatrician may prescribe a steroidal cream or other prescription treatment. Whether the eczema is severe or not, it is wise to take your child to the pediatrician to have it examined.
Excessive moisture can irritate baby's sensitive skin. Changing diapers frequently can prevent this type of rash from occurring. Moisture can also develop in the diaper area if diapering or clothing is too restricting or the weather is too warm for baby.
Keeping the baby dressed appropriately for the weather and in fresh, clean diapers and clothes can help to avoid a diaper rash that is caused due to moisture.
Human skin, especially that of babies, is sometimes sensitive to heat. When the temperature is too warm, it can cause a breakout in the diaper area. Heat rash can occur in many places, including the diaper area.
Babies should be kept cool with loose fitting clothing and diapering in warmer weather temperatures. Bulky diapering can also cause too much heat for baby's skin in cooler weather temperatures.
The main objective is to be sure that baby is dressed for the weather without being excessively covered in the diaper area. Rubber diaper cover-ups can also sometimes cause excessive heat or even moisture.
Not every rash in the diaper area can be treated by the parent alone. Any rash lasting more than a day or so without improvement (or one that is bleeding or otherwise questionable) should be looked at by a licensed medical professional, preferably your child's regular pediatrician.
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