Walking out your backdoor and a refreshing pool to exercise or relax sounds ideal, but when children are in the picture — it's best to take numerous precautions. A whopping 67 percent of lilsugar readers said they would buy a home with a backyard pool, but having such a luxury comes with plenty of responsibility. Take a look at our tips for ensuring a safe backyard.
Strap some wheels on your offspring and let them roll wild! In-line skating, skateboarding and the like will encourage kids to get more physical activity while building muscle and coordination skills. While wheeled sports can provide hours of fun, when not done cautiously, they can easily lead to injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that each year 100,000 consumers receive hospital treatment due to injuries related to in-line skates. They offer the following tips for safe skating:
- Wear a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards and gloves.
- Learn to stop safely.
- Skate on smooth, paved surfaces without any traffic. Avoid skating on streets, driveways, or surfaces with water, sand, gravel, or dirt.
- Do not skate at night -- others can’t see you and you can’t see obstacles or other skaters.
- Get instruction. Learn to stop safely by using the brake pads at the heel of most in-line skates. With one foot somewhat in front of the other, raise the toes of the front foot and push down on the heel brake.
Get some hot gear and get wheeling!
The image of a father standing behind his child and teaching him to cast a line is as iconic as a Norman Rockwell painting. But any parent that has tried to introduce their kiddo to the sport of fishing knows reality isn't as picturesque. From hooks caught on clothing to tangled lines, it's all worth the memories so get out there and catch dinner with your darlings! Here are some tips:
- Length of trip: The length and location of the fishing trip should be determined by the age of the participants. Wee ones aren't likely to last more than an hour, but engaged kindergartners may sit for quite a while. Local creeks, docks and lakes may be a better fit for these age groups than an afternoon boat trip.
- Choice of rod: When selecting a fishing rod, consider the actual goal of the outing. While there are many fun, character-enhanced rods, a good, ultra-light rod and reel will actually allow kids to bring in a fish, rather than breaking.
- Bait: If worms and squid make your small fry squeamish, consider using cut-up hot dogs, chunks of cheese, dough or cooked corn kernels.
- Casting the line: Position yourselves far away from other anglers, as youngsters tend to be a bit wild when casting their lines. Don't worry if the line doesn't go far, the kids will be just as excited.
- Reel it in: Allow tots to attempt to reel in the fish themselves. It's all about the action, not the result.
- Catch and release: Practice catch and release techniques with your kiddo unless you plan to eat the finned creature. To make the catch more exciting, consider holding the fish in a spacious bucket or container filled with water where children can watch it swim. Then, set it free.
To see more fishing tips, including several safety ones, read more
Fresh air, green leaves and singing birds can put anyone in the mood for a good hike. In addition to the aerobic exercise hiking provides, it's a great way to spend some quality time with family and friends. Given a tot's natural curiosity about their surroundings, kids make excellent hiking partners, if parents go into the activity realizing that they might not reach their end point, mileage or exercise goals during the outing.
Hiking with children involves frequent stops, sedate trails and some extra gear. Youngsters normally focus on the excitement of a new experience rather than the destination so finding a local trail or creek to walk along will suffice.
To capture their curiosity, be sure to bring along "tools" that will help your lil one gain the most from the experience. Butterfly nets, assorted plastic containers for storing pebbles and leaves, a canteen and a magnifying glass will add intrigue to the excursion. The outing should also provide many opportunities for capturing memories – either through the eye of a camera or a notebook where kids sketch their surroundings.
For more information on what parents should pack when hiking with their offspring, read more
Sporty moms are known for carting oranges and water to their kids' games, but the women endure wind, rain and chill as they root their offspring on from the sidelines. So why not give the faithful fans that wrap themselves in hats, coats, blankets and scarves to steady the camcorders in their cold hands a uniform to keep them snug in the bleachers? If you can get past its fluffy and spacesuit like appearance, the Selk' bag ($70) is wonderfully snug. To read about its pros and cons, read more