For most of us, springtime means outdoors time. We visit parks, bike trails, swim, hike, or take strolls in the woods, anything to be outside
Here are some safety tips to take along the way.
- Before you run or hike a trail, let others know where you are going, and, if possible, let them know your route. If you’re injured or get lost and do not return home when expected, they can begin to search for you.
- Keep alert. Know your surroundings. If you enjoy music, wear only one ear bud. You need to hear what is around you. Constantly look to your left, to your right, and behind you, with your head up all the time. You may feel funny doing so, but keeping alert can help you spot a wild animal on the trail, or even worse, see a possible bad guy before he attacks you. We don’t like to think about it, but bad guys sometimes lurk around parks or running trails, searching for an unaware victim. If you are alert and aware, he will move on.
- For the ladies, keep your cell phones in your pocket, not in your purse or your backpacks. That way, if your purse is stolen, you can still call 911.
- Scream. Make lots of noise. This rule applies for wild animals and for bad guys. Loud shouts can scare away animals and keep them from approaching. Same for the bad guy. Remember, the predator wants easy prey. Yell, “Back off” or “Get away!” or just start screaming, if you are approached by someone with harmful intent. The noise will alert others of your situation. The bad guys want a quiet, compliant victim. Don’t be one.
- Fight! Fight! Fight! If attacked, fight with everything you have to escape. Studies on violent attacks show that women who physically resists an attack, doubles their chances of escaping. Pepper spray or mace is an effective weapon but seek expert training on how to use them.
Sure, some of this information is frightening, and may not be exactly what you expected for spring safety tips, but think of these tips as simple tools to keep you safe while enjoying the outdoors. Remember, tip number two is most important. Obey it, and you can avoid other problems.