Health

Advice for going out walking safely with children

If walking is good for grown-ups, it's also good for youngsters. It’s the ideal leisure activity to do as a family - even with young children since all you need is to be able to put one foot in front of the other. But you need to adapt your walk accordingly

  • Children under the age of 2 should be carried on your back and the walk should not last for more than 2 hours (be careful not to go above 2000 metres). Remember that because they are not actively moving they rapidly get too hot or too cold.
  • Children between the ages of 2 and 4 can walk for about 2 kilometres and by the time they are 8 they can cover 10 kilometres without any difficulty. Over-8s and especially over-12s can yomp along for up to 15 kilometres a day for several days in a row – or at least the more adventurous of them can.
  • Whatever the child's age plan a fun route with lots of points of interest along the way (mountain torrents, monuments, view points, interesting flowers, and so on) you can use as an excuse to take a break or else fill them in a bit about the plants and wildlife. And don't forget that if you take along a friend or a cousin the time is bound to go a lot more quickly for them.
  • Adapt your speed to the youngest members of the party. Stop frequently to drink a bit of water or eat some dried fruit, cereal bars, or a fruit of some kind – all of which are essential fuel for young legs.
  • Make sure that all children are comfortably kitted out and that their footwear has high-cut uppers and a ridged sole. Take light clothing with you, as well as protection against the wind and rain and warm, dry things to change into even if the weather is fine when you set off. Equally don't forget to take sunglasses, caps, and sun cream even if the sun is partially hidden or hazy.
  • Give children over 4 a rucksack. They will be so proud to carry their snacks and teddy bear in it, and do just like the grown-ups do!

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