When young explorers hit the trail with their joyful curiosity, parents are prepared for the occasional skinned knee or “carry me!” demand, but perhaps not the worst case scenario. Even if the hike is short or familiar or seemingly straightforward, things could go awry in an instant despite our best efforts. There’s good news, though: Even very young children can learn to stay safe by following a few simple rules.
“Talking children through a plan in a simulated discussion will help them stay calm if they are ever separated [from the group while hiking],” says Chris Boyer, executive director at the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR). “Adults should call 911 when a child is missing. Don’t wait. It can sometimes take several hours to get people to you.”
In addition to calling 911 immediately, Boyer also recommends that parents take a picture of their child before the hike, including the bottom of each shoe, so rescuers know what footprints to follow.
Read the full story on backpacker.com.