With the start of hunting season and a heightened amount of fall activity in the backcountry, Children’s Colorado medical providers and Colorado Parks and Wildlife remind parents to prioritize safety measures when spending time in the wilderness.
Be prepared for all types of weather. Dress in layers and take extras. Kids are more affected by colder weather, exposure, dehydration and hypothermia. Seek warm shelter, remove wet clothing and warm the center of the body if signs of shivering, exhaustion, confusion, drowsiness or fumbling hands are seen.Take water. Carry iodine tablets or filtration devices. Avoid drinking ice-cold water. Rehydrate if dry lips or mouth, light-headedness or drowsiness occur. Hydration also defends against acute altitude sickness, which can manifest in the form of headaches, loss of appetite and feeling weak and tired.Bring a survival kit and know how to use it. First-aid kits should be equipped with materials that control bleeding, clean wounds and dress and bandage wounds. Children have less blood than adults. Even small blood losses can have a larger effect on a child. Seek medical care when a wound is long or deep, contaminated, exposes a joint, caused by an animal bite, affects a cosmetic area or needs surgical care.Understand the environment, vehicles and unknown terrain. Most hunting season accidents are nonfatal and occur on or around vehicles. Teach kids to exercise caution. Children’s bones are still growing and are more vulnerable. Fractures can damage growth plates and impede future growth. If a child is run over, thrown off, or caught in the machinery, check for concussions and bone breaks. Before hunting, Colorado Parks and Wildlife requires the completion of mandatory hunter safety courses.