“I would surely trade my life to save my child”
And with this idea in mind we think we offer our children the best protection.
Of course: This is a mistake!
You may not be able to help your child in an emergency situation (no matter what you do), or you may not be with him when it happens. Or you might have died, leaving him/her on his/her own (sorry for being so melodramatic). Plus…
Kids get lost all the time…
So I think it’s important to teach them a few things.
…things that you may know from your father.
…things that your child will always remember you by.
…things that he’ll tech his kids.
1. How to Find Safe Water
Your child needs to know how to find water that is safe to drink. If your home is fed by a well, they can continue to drink water from it and should be shown how to draw water from that well if the electric is out.
If your home does not have a well, then they need to search for bottled water.
Every 21 seconds a child dies of a water-related disease (Source). Even creek or river water is not safe, no matter how clear it seems to be. Children will drink anything once they get thirsty, so you really need to drill this into them. There are too many illnesses that can occur from drinking contaminated water and your child should be taught to be extremely careful.
If they can’t find bottled water, or they run out, they need to be shown how to filter water to make it safe to drink. Water only needs to be boiled for a short time to be safe to drink and they can pour it into bottles once it has cooled to make it easier to carry or store.
Related: H2O Dynamo – The Awesome Device That Turns Air Into Water (Literally)
2. How to Find Shelter (stay warm and dry in the elements)
I’m thinking that for a child water and shelter are more important than finding food.
Your child needs to know how to find shelter away from home. Teach them about using branches (preferably ones with leaves) to build temporary shelter if they become lost in the woods. Show them how to use what they find in the woods to layer under their clothes or use as a blanket.
Related: Earthbag Homes – The Ultimate Bulletproof Retreat (Cheap and Easy To Build)
3. How to Build a Fire (Obviously)
Your child needs to know how to build a fire. I wouldn’t go as far as saying without matches. It’s not easy to start one with matches either. Teach him how to keep it under control. You don’t want to hear on the news that your child set an entire forest on fire.
4. How to Swim
Sadly, drowning is the third most common form of accidental death in children, so learning to swim really is an essential life skill. Swimming is one of the few skills that once learned is rarely forgotten.
5. How to Use a Knife Safely
This isn’t just a survival tip. Every child should be shown how to hold and carry a knife for their own safety around the home. If a disaster does occur, a knife could be the only tool they will have available to help them survive until help arrives. Not only can your child use a knife to cut branches for a shelter, it can be used to hunt, if needed, or to skin fish they catch.
6.Basic First Aid
Even without a natural disaster, every child should learn basic first aid once they are old enough. Your child needs to be shown where your first aid supplies are and how to treat minor cuts and burns. They also need to learn how to distinguish minor injuries from ones that require a doctor. If your child is alone, being able to cover and care for a cut could save their life.
7. Basic Self Defense
This is a skill your child needs to know to stay safe. You don’t need to teach them any fancy skills – they need to know basic skills. Teach them to always follow their gut instincts. If a person makes them feel funny, they need to get away immediately. They don’t need to worry about hurting the adult’s feelings – just run.
You can also teach your child how to get away if someone grabs them. Instead of pulling away, tell your child to push towards the other person. This could cause the person to lose their balance and they will let go of your child as they fall. Also, tell your child if someone has a hold of their wrists to jerk in the direction of the other person’s fingers. If their fingers are pointed down around your child’s wrist, tell them to jerk their hands down. The fingers are the weakest part of a person’s grip.
8. Know How to Sew
Not only will your child be able to use this skill to mend clothes, they could make blankets or shelter from smaller pieces of material. And, if they happen to get cut, they can use their sewing skills to stitch up the cut.
9. How to Read a Map and Use a Compass
In these days of GPS’s on every phone, few people feel the need to use a map, but if disaster strikes and the power is gone, your child will need the ability to read a map and to use a compass. Even without a disaster, if your child would ever be hiking and get lost, he/she needs to know how to look at a map and find a safe way back to people.
10. Know Where Family and Friends live
If your child is in trouble, he/she needs to know where family and friends are to find a safe place. It’s not enough that he/she knows an address because if they are alone, chances are the power is gone and their GPS is useless. They need to know how to get to those safe homes.
11. What to Do in Bad Weather
Both at home and away, your child needs to know what to do is bad weather is approaching. Schools practice tornado drills, but do you do this at home? Does your child know what to do if he/she is home alone and a bad storm approaches? Never count on being there with your child – plan on them being alone so they can be safe. Remind them to go to a basement and to stay away from windows.
12. Vehicle Maintenance
Of course, it depends on the age. “This isn’t to say that they should be able to do a full engine overhaul. But they should know how to check and top off all their fluids, how to check their oil, how long they can go between oil changes and how to change it, how to change a flat tire, how to replace windshield wipers, etc.” (Source) These are all simple things that everyone should know. When SHTF it won’t matter if you have a driving license or not. All that counts is to reach B alive.
Teaching kids to grow their own food gives them knowledge and power. Even if you don’t have much room, growing a container garden with high-producing plants such as strawberries and cherry tomatoes will provide several hours of entertainment. (Source)
Related: Post Apocalypse Gardening
14. How to Climb a Tree
This is part of the dangerous things you should let your kids do… as long as they are under your supervision. Sooner or later they will do it anyway, so it’s better this way.
Teach them how to climb safely and (very important) tell them when to stop climbing, when it is dangerous.
Besides eliminating a potential accident risk, this skill can be useful. You can get away from predators or get directional bearings.
15. How to Fish
Fishing it’s easy to learn, easy to teach and doesn’t have to involve lots of expensive equipment.
I know I went fishing with my father when I was a child. And even if I haven’t gone fishing since I was 16, I still know how to tie on a fish hoo
16. Local Edible and Medicinal Plant Knowledge
Because some wild plants are poisonous, it’s best to start teaching plants that don’t have dangerous look-alikes like: Nettle, Berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), Watercress, Dandelions, Lambsquarters or Cattails.
Get My Free Book: The Medicinal Plants Guide That Should Be In Your Bug Out Bag
17. Open a Can of Food (with and without can opener)
There are several tricks to opening cans that might come in handy for your child.
One of the safest ways is to rub the metal can on cement or a huge rock.
18. How to Signal SOS
19. Teach Them how to Use the GPS Function on the Phone
GPS systems may not always work and all kids don’t have cell phones, but if they do, teach them how to use the GPS system to get home.
Mark home on the system to make it simple for them. We all know how easily kids pick up technology, so this shouldn’t be a challenge for most school-aged kids. (Source) Some parents even install an application on their iPhone to track them in case they got lost.
Some of these tips may seem to be things your child will never need to know, but realistically, none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
Make a game out of teaching survival skills and have fun with your child. You never know when your child may need to take care of himself/herself for a few days.
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