CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

Minimize Risks for Children Adventurers at Your Outfitter

Children on paddleboard

In an age of electronics and artificial intelligence (AI), it’s hard not to be glued to the screen of an electronic device. However, children need to unplug and take in the world around them using their senses. Your outfitter may be hosting day camps or field trips for younger adventurers who can pose a few risks that you wouldn’t normally think about when hosting adults. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure that every age gets the most out of their experience and safety is at the forefront.

Guide-to-Child Ratio is Crucial for Safety

Depending on the age, keeping your guide-to-children ratio small can help alleviate the stress of feeling outnumbered. Having more guides enables them to provide more attention to each child. Smaller groups are also easier to supervise for safety, and they help children cultivate friendships and follow rules.

Assess by Age & Ability

In any sport, there are limits. Whether those limits are Class V rapids or archery with real bows, let the age and ability of the children decide how far to push those limits. You never want to challenge them so much that it puts them and those around them at risk of harm. You would never want a toddler to shoot a loaded gun, so adjust your activities according to age and ability.

Keep Them Busy

While it feels like nobody could get bored in the great outdoors, children have short attention spans. To help keep them focused, incorporate games throughout the time. Simple challenges such as seeing who can pick up the most litter can keep them on track and immersed in the experience.

As your guides take children into nature, have them throw in a few learning lessons. They might be learning a new sport that day, but they could also learn about taking care of the waterways, forests or the land in general.

Ensure Your Guides Are Comfortable & Certified

Not everyone is comfortable working with children, and that’s okay. Ask each guide about their comfort level working with kids and make sure they’ve had a background screening.

Here are a few tips when working with children:

  • Give simple choices.
  • Focus on what to do rather than what not to do.
  • Talk with children, not at them.

Before your adventurers arrive, your guide should:

  • Have a first-aid kit on hand and know who to contact in an emergency.
  • Be trained in first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator use.
  • Bring supplies to prevent heat stress, sunburn and dehydration and make sure the adventurers know how to properly dress for the conditions. Inform them where the hydration station is and incorporate hydration breaks into your schedule.
  • Review how to spot the signs of fatigue, injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion and concussions. Review the procedures on how to appropriately handle any issues regarding these conditions.
  • Remind yourself not to underestimate the severity of injuries or assume they can “walk it off” or are faking.
  • Know how to properly handle situations when someone is bleeding or vomiting.

Kid Safety Rules

Just as you would do with adults, check for understanding. Keep the rules easy! Make sure they truly understand what they need to abide by. A good set of rules always helps children stay on track. Depending on your sport, the rules will vary. Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Don’t wander off.
  • Respect your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Only touch what you have been told to touch.
  • Keep your shoes on.

Activity-related Risks

The activity is the highlight of the excursion for many participants, but it can also result in injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Here are tips to mitigate common risks:

  • Before children begin an activity, staff should ensure appropriate equipment is being used. It should be the right size for each child. It should also be inspected prior to use to ensure it’s in good condition.
  • Make sure children are using appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment.
  • Have sunscreen available for children to reapply.
  • Explain that helmets only offer some protection; no helmet is concussion-proof.
  • Teach children to stretch beforehand to reduce the risk of strains or other injuries.

Worry Less. Adventure More.

Time in nature helps children navigate fear and teaches them about the world they live in. As safe as your practices are, it’s always best to have the correct policy on your side just in case something does happen. For additional safety guidance and insurance solutions for your outfitter business,  request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote  today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of adventure sports businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a policy coverage to meet the needs for those in the recreation and outfitting industries. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.