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Planning Ahead Reduces Risks

by Ross Francis - The Leader - Paksak - March 1997

Every outing involves risks. Let's look at ways to identify, prevent and manage injury.

One way to minimize problems is to try to anticipate all hazards before they occur. Knowing the risks will help everyone take steps to avoid a preventable accident. You may also plan program ideas (e.g. first aid training) around this activity night, with a 'graduating ' hike at the end.

Think about the following questions. Start by writing down a complete description of the proposed outing, then present the outline to your Cubs. Get them to answer each question, taking time to examine possible hazards, avoidance techniques, possible injuries, as well as their treatment and materials required. Ask a youth member to take notes.

Here are the questions:

Planning Reduces Risk

Your last questions should involve emergency-related plans. What should we include in the leader's pack? What is our emergency plan? Do all leaders know it? Is it written down in the leader's pack complete with phone numbers, medical information and other important data?

Once your Cubs have completed this exercise, purchase a fanny pack or small day pack for the leader to carry. Each youth should:

Be sure to store the contents in some sort of waterproof container. Don't forget to identify items with expiry dates so you can replace them when needed. Include a list of all items, and a reminder to replace any items used after each outing.

When presented properly this activity will make Cubs more aware of possible dangerous situations that may arise during an outing. Awareness will help them avoid the risks and prepare for unavoidable injuries.

"Reproduced with permission of the Leader magazine and the author."

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