7 Tips to Keep Your Autistic Child Safe Outdoors

keeping autistic child safe outdoors

Does the thought of taking your autistic child to the park send shivers down your spine? You’re not alone. Unpredictable sounds, overwhelming crowds, and the allure of running off โ€“ these are just some of the worries parents of autistic children face when venturing outdoors. But fear not! With a little preparation and some helpful strategies, you can transform the great outdoors into a safe and enjoyable space for your child.

Dress Code for Adventure

When it comes to dressing up your little adventurer, less is more. While bundling them up in layers and layers of clothes is tempting, it’s important to remember that overheating is a real concern. The key is to dress them in light, breathable clothing that will keep them cool and comfortable. A good rule of thumb is to dress them in one extra layer than you would wear yourself. And don’t forget the hat! A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to keep the sun off their face and neck.

SPF Showdown

Sunscreen is a must-have for any outdoor adventure, but with so many options, it can be hard to know which one to choose. The most important thing to look for is an SPF of at least 30. Anything less than that won’t provide enough protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Choosing a water-resistant sunscreen is also important, so it doesn’t wash off when they start sweating or playing in the water. And don’t forget to reapply every two hours!

When it comes to keeping your autistic child safe outdoors, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. By following these safety basics, you can help ensure that your child has a fun and safe experience exploring the great outdoors.


Stranger Danger – The Not-So-Great Outdoors

saying no

Keeping an eye on an autistic child while outside can be a daunting task. One moment they are right beside you, and the next they have wandered off to explore something that caught their interest. That’s why it’s important to teach them the art of not getting lost.

One way to do this is to teach them to always stay within a certain distance from you. You can use a rope, a leash, or even a hula hoop to create a boundary that they can’t cross without your permission. Another way is to teach them to look for landmarks that they can use to find their way back to you. For example, you can point out a tall tree or a distinctive building and tell them to always keep it in sight.

Talk to Trees, Not Strangers

Stranger danger is a real concern for parents of autistic children. It’s important to teach them not to talk to strangers, but it’s equally important to teach them who they can talk to. One way to do this is to encourage them to talk to trees, rocks, and other natural objects.

This may sound silly, but it can be an effective way to teach them about their environment and keep them safe. For example, you can teach them to say hello to a tree or a rock when they first arrive at a park or playground. This will help them to establish a connection with their surroundings and make them less likely to wander off or get lost.


Playground Protocol – Slides, Swings, and Safety

summer Activities for Kids with Autism

When it comes to playgrounds, safety is key. This is especially true for children with autism, who may have difficulty navigating playground equipment. To ensure that your child is safe while having fun, it’s important to inspect the equipment before they start playing.

First, check for any sharp edges or broken pieces. If you find any, report them to the park staff immediately. Next, check the swings to make sure they are securely attached to the frame. If they are not, don’t let your child use them. And finally, check the slides for cracks or damage. If you see any, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Sharing is Caring, But Not Always

Sharing is a great lesson to teach your child, but when it comes to playground equipment, it’s not always the best policy. When your child is on the swings or slides, make sure they have plenty of space around them. This will help prevent collisions with other children.

If your child is on the swings, make sure they are not swinging too high. This can be dangerous if they lose control and fall off. And if they are on the slides, make sure they are going down feet first. This will help prevent head injuries.

Remember, playgrounds are a great way for your child to have fun and get exercise. By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that your child stays safe while they play.


Nature’s Call: Wildlife Wisdom

Sensory-Friendly Summer Activities for Autistic Kids

When it comes to outdoor adventures, it’s not just the plants that can pose a problem for children with autism. Wildlife can be a source of wonder and excitement, but it can also be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. It’s important to teach children the basics of wildlife safety, such as not approaching animals, not feeding them, and not trying to touch them.

But what about the creatures that come to you? Squirrels, birds, and other wildlife may be drawn to your child’s outdoor play area, especially if there are food sources nearby. While it’s tempting to shoo them away, it’s important to remember that they have a right to be there too. Instead of fighting against nature, embrace it! Encourage your child to observe the animals from a distance, and use it as an opportunity to learn about different species and their behaviors.

Green but Not Always Friendly

While nature can be a source of calm and sensory stimulation for children with autism, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards. Some plants may look harmless but can cause skin irritation or other reactions. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are all common in North America and can cause a painful rash.

Teach your child to identify these plants and avoid them. You can also create a sensory garden with safe plants that your child can touch, smell, and taste. Some good options include lavender, mint, and chamomile. Not only will it provide a safe and stimulating environment for your child, but it can also be a fun and educational activity to do together.


Emergency SOS

Summer Routine for Autistic Children

Accidents happen, even to the most cautious of parents. When an autistic child is playing outdoors, it’s important to be prepared for any bumps, bruises, or scrapes that may occur. A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for any outdoor adventure.

Make sure to include the essentials like band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers. But don’t forget to add some fun to the mix! Stickers, temporary tattoos, and bubbles are great distractions and can help turn a frown upside down.

Lost and Found

Wandering is a common concern for parents of autistic children. When an autistic child wanders off, it can be a frightening experience. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens.

One option is to use a GPS tracking device. These devices can be attached to a child’s clothing or backpack and can help parents locate their child in case of an emergency. Another option is to use a buddy system.

By pairing an autistic child with a responsible and trusted individual, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their child is safe and accounted for. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or neighbor, having someone to watch over an autistic child can make all the difference.

Remember, accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared. By having a well-stocked first aid kit and a plan in place for when the unexpected happens, parents can help keep their autistic child safe while enjoying all the great outdoors has to offer.

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