Can you see them? What a differnce reflective patches make, even in early evening...
We enjoyed a sunset hike today, and by enjoyed I mean we hurried to hit the trail before darkness set in fully, two of us wishing we'd managed to get out earlier, one still dragging her feet and asking to be carried (until she found the perfect stick/moss/puddle/ice), and Hazel, recovering from a cold, asleep on my back.
Some days these short, end of day hikes are all we get. I want to embrace them, but I also want my kids visable and safe out there (of course day time hide and seek or out of sight exploring is a different matter and highly encouraged). We live in a smallish but busy town, full of commuters, coffee shops, and dog walkers... we also live in a place that has experienced many car vs pedestrian accidents. My kids don't walk to and from a school, but many here do. My kids do walk unattended around town at times, not ever far but that's no matter because even adults become hard to see in the fading daylight, and nearly invisible in the dark.
No bright color will do the trick - here the kids are wearing a rainbow of bright colors in thick stripes - but still they fade into the trees. My tiny cell phone camera flash is enough to show you how visable they become in headlights - this safety feature is standard on all of our play outerwear from Europe, like the snowgear shown here by Villervalla of Sweden. They recognize that kids play not just in all weather, but in all light conditions too - darkness comes even earlier there then it does for most of us. It's a simple thing, but something that I think of each time I pass a child walking home at dusk, when fog fills empty playgrounds, and when we enjoy those better-late-than-never hikes.
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