Rafting is an exciting way for families to see the great outdoors, and there are thousands of rivers waiting to be traveled. You may be wondering if it’s safe to take a child rafting. Well, with a little understanding of what a rafting trip entails, you and your kids can have a safe and fun adventure floating down a glorious river.
Are Your Kids Well-Behaved?
Horseplay has its time and place but never on a raft. Whitewater rafting can involve intense situations requiring everyone on board to be attentive and obedient. Horsing around and bad attitudes on the part of your kids could cause them or others on board to be injured. Accidents can happen quickly on the water, and all people on a raft, both adults and kids, need to have good attitudes and a sense of team spirit. It’s important to assess your children’s behavior to determine whether they can behave themselves appropriately while rafting.
No matter how well-behaved your kids are, if the route is particularly difficult, then safety concerns will arise. Whitewater rapids are assigned a class number between I and VI. Class VI rapids are considered by most experts to be nearly impossible to navigate, even for professionals, and class V rapids are characterized as extremely difficult and violent. Although not as dangerous as class V and VI, class III and IV rapids are extremely intense. Tipping and ejections can occur quite easily in these classes. Before taking children, be advised that class III and IV rapids are extremely intense and are recommended for well-behaved, healthy children. It’s not until you descend to class II and I that things begin to get easy.
What to Wear and Bring
When you go rafting, it’s extremely important that you bring and wear proper safety equipment. If you’re rafting with a tour company, your safety equipment will most likely be provided for you and will likely include a helmet and a life vest. As far as clothing, you should dress your children according to the weather. Anything that dries quickly, such as wool, nylon, and polyester, is ideal. Have your kids wear old, broken-in tennis shoes, water shoes or strap-on sandals, but never boots or flip-flops. A brimmed cap plus sunglasses are great protection from the sun. There’s no place on board for smartphones, so if your kids can’t live without theirs, then rafting might be tough for them.
Rafting with the kids can be a delightful and exciting experience. If you have fun-loving kids that are well-behaved when they’re supposed to be, then you can have a safe time out on the water even in class III or IV rapids.
For more information about kid friendly destinations, read on here!
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