Top 5 Outdoor Safety Tips While Bird Watching

Bird Watching Academy’s goal is to instill an interest of birding among kids. It is an educational activity that is not only fun for kids but enjoyable for adults too. It’s an engaging activity that allows friends and family to get outside and spend quality time together. It’s important for bird watchers of all ages but especially children to be prepared and aware while outdoors to ensure their safety. The great outdoors is an ideal classroom for kids. Unstructured outdoor play allows kids an opportunity to explore and learn about the world around them but it also prevents its own set of risks. Before you and your bid watching kids get out on your next birding adventure, sit down and talk to them about these safety tips.

Tip 1- Educate kids about harmful plants. 

Poison Ivy is a 3 leafed plant that causes itchy rashes if you touch it. Have you ever heard the saying Leaves of three, leave them be? What about One, two, three. Don’t touch me? Or, Hairy vine, no friend of mine.These helpful rhymes help teach kids not to touch poison ivy, but also how to identify harmful plants. Chances are while out bird watching you will encounter poison ivy. Education is the key to avoiding an encounter with this hurtful plant. Teach your kids how to recognize them using rhymes or the below characteristics of poison ivy.

        • How To Identify Poison Ivy
            • pointed leaves
            • green
            • hairy vines
            • 3 leaves
            • grows in vines or shrubs

Tip 2- Never wander off alone. 

Teach kids to always stay within range of supervision. Practice the buddy system. Pair up kids to stay with a partner everywhere they go. This teaches them that there is safety in numbers and reduces the risk of getting lost.

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Tip 3- Always wear sunscreen! 

It’s important to teach kids about sun safety and getting them in the habit of always wearing sunscreen while outdoors regardless the season. Experts recommend using a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. If you’re outdoors longer than 3 hours be sure to reapply. Dressing kids in UV protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses also helps protect them against the sun’s harmful rays.

Tip 4- Stay Hydrated!

Kids are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults. They need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if they’re outside in hot, humid weather. Be sure to pack bottled water while they’re outside bird watching. It’s also a good idea to ensure that they’re hydrated prior to spending any time outside, it will help avoid dehydration. Kids don’t always recognize thirst so it’s vital that the adults in their life encourage fluids and help teach them healthy habits such as taking lots of water breaks. Be sure to recognize the signs of dehydration and call your kids pediatrician if you notice any of the following:

      • Signs of Dehydration
            • headache
            • nausea
            • decrease in urination
            • overly tired
            • dizziness/passes out
            • dark urine


Tip 5- Insect Safety

Insects are abundant outdoors, especially in the summer. One way to protect kids against insect bites is to use bug spray before going outside. It’s recommended to use a bug spray that contains deet. Also, teach kids to avoid areas that attract insects such as garbage cans and stagnant accumulations of water. Hats can help keep insects away from kid’s faces. If you know you are going to be outside try to avoid using strong smelling soaps that day as they can attract insects. If you live or are exploring and bird watching in an area where ticks are known to be present, check your kid at the end of the day that they have been outdoors.


Outdoor exploration and bird watching is a great opportunity for kids to learn and play. Staying safe means having more fun! Taking the time to educate kids on precautions to take while outdoors is the best way to make sure they’re safe.


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