It’s hard to find outdoor activities that kids want to do nowadays—unless you count finding a tree for them to sit under while they cruise the Internet on their tablet.
Some kids aren’t interested in team sports and some may want to partake in something a little more challenging. Kids who participate in adventure sports are usually pretty skilled, strong, and have a lot of physical endurance. These are crucial traits to have to participate in high-endurance activities. Sports also show kids the benefits of persistence, determination and self-discipline.
If your child is ready for an adventure, consider these three action-packed activities:
Rappelling seems to be a dangerous sport, but if you have the physical endurance and the right gear for rappelling, the risk is minimal. Your kid will need a harness and gloves, and a personal anchor tether. Make sure he is completely safe by getting the appropriate rope and rappelling device. And, don’t forget anchor materials.
There are different kinds of rappelling activities and certain organizations limit who can rappel. For instance, boys in the Cub Scouts are not allowed to rappel. Webelos Scouts are allowed to rappel, as are Boy Scouts and older scout members. The Boy Scouts of America requires a trained spotter for all climbers, no matter the age. Before you obtain the safety gear, check out all details of the specific rappelling excursion so that you know exactly how to prepare.
If your kid mountain bikes with confidence he or she may be ready to graduate to dirt biking. Safety equipment for dirt biking is minimal but essential. Using a quality motorcycle helmet is absolutely critical. Make sure the helmet fits properly before you make a purchase. For eye protection, your child will need goggles, and tearoffs are handy to have so vision is clear in muddy or dusty conditions. A neck brace is also a good idea to protect his neck in the event of a crash.
If your child wants to ride a dirt bike, it’s your call. There is no age requirement.
A lot of kids love the water, and when they become confident swimmers they like to go exploring under the sea. This is an adventure sport where your child can learn something while participating, but again, children will need the correct type of safety equipment.
Besides the normal mask, fins, and snorkel, the most important safety items for diving include the regulator and octopus, according to U.S. Dive Travel. Make sure a qualified dive technician completely checks the first and second stages. Worn-out or damaged components must be fixed or replaced. If any of the high-pressure or low-pressure hoses are worn, replace them immediately. There is additional equipment needed for scuba diving, but once again it depends on the kind of dive your child will be participating in.
Age requirements varies in certain countries and organizations. Some organizations allow children as young as 10 to get certified, but in general, the United States will certify children 12-years-old. No upper age limits exist.
The common worry of most parents of kids who partake in action sports is the increased risk of injury. Adventure sports injuries can range from scrapes and bruises to broken bones. To ensure your child has all of the proper safety gear, make sure you research each sport thoroughly for the types of equipment required for each activity, suggests FamilyEducation.