Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

If you are heading out into the great outdoors this summer, please read up on a few wildlife safety tips to protect yourself and your family from harm. My husband and I travel quite a bit with our children and many of these journeys are outdoor family vacations.  We enjoy hiking, camping, birdwatching and exploring swamps in kayaks.  Yes, we are a little bit weird but we would rather be outdoors in nature than cooped up inside.  Of course, safety should be a top concern when taking your family off the beaten path!

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Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

Last year there was a terrible story out of Florida where a young family lost their small child to an alligator at the water’s edge. There were fingers pointing to poor parenting skills as well as to inefficient safety precautions taken by the operators of the area they were visiting. Regardless of WHO was at fault, it was a terrible accident and one that we, as parents, need to try and avoid at all costs.  Here are a few wildlife safety tips for outdoor family vacations that may help ensure your family’s safety on their next excursion.

Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

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Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

To ensure the safety of your family on your next outdoor adventure, follow these wildlife safety tips at all times!

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Research the area before you go:

Whenever we travel, we always research the area that we plan on visiting.  We knew that there would be alligators in the swamp we kayaked in and poisonous snakes on the trail up in North Georgia. Always know the dangers that could be lurking around the bend of your next turn in the trail.

Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

Listen to your guides:

Don’t presume that you know more about the flora and fauna of an area than a trained professional.  Listen to the wildlife safety tips that they provide, as well as any other hazards that you need to know about.  On our recent trip to the Everglades, we learned that the swamp area was filled with a small shrub/tree that could literally melt your skin off if you brushed up against it.  Needless to say, we took CAREFUL note of what it’s leaves looked like!  Your child could be playing with a poisonous toad and you don’t even realize it!

 

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Choose the right protection:

Always arm yourself with the right gear before you head out.  Knowing all the right wildlife safety tips is great but won’t always protect you from encountering dangerous animals.  Bring a large walking stick, bear spray, or some other anti-wildlife gear in case you run into an animal on your next outdoor adventure!

Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

Don’t go anywhere alone:

You should never travel into the wilderness alone.  Always bring a buddy and tell people where you are going.  Make sure to have a cell phone with you for emergencies.  But, remember, you may not always have service if you are out in the wild.  And a cell phone won’t do you much good when a bear is charging you head.  If you are heading somewhere you know has zero cell service, invest in a satellite telephone that will work without cell service.

Wildlife Safety Tips for Outdoor Family Vacations

Keep kids in sight at all times:

Do not let small children run ahead on the trail or play near water without you standing RIGHT THERE with them.  Small children make easy prey for wild animals.  If they are hungry or threatened, they will attack without warning. (the wild animal…although toddlers are terrifying when hungry, too!) While on your outdoor family vacations, talk to your kids about the importance of staying by your side.

Outdoor family vacations are a great way to teach your children to appreciate nature.  However, they also come with a few risks.  Knowing these wildlife safety tips before you head out is a good way to protect yourself when out in wild animal territory!  For more information about this topic, check out the National Parks Conservation Association.

 

Have any other wildlife safety tips to share?

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About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

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