711 Park Avenue Northwest
Willmar, MN 56201

Running Safely for the Whole Family

Running is a wonderful way for families to bond, enjoy the outdoors, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, safety should never be overlooked, especially when the kids are coming along. Whether you’re an experienced runner or just thinking about it, these running safety tips will ensure that every family outing is as safe as it is enjoyable.

Consider Timing

Daylight is Desired: Whenever possible, run during daylight hours. Visibility is crucial for safety, and natural light is the best way to ensure you and your family are seen by others.

Be Seen

Wear Reflective Gear: Equip the family with bright and reflective clothing. This is particularly important during dawn or dusk when visibility is lower.

Plan Your Path

Know Your Route: Select routes that are familiar and safe. Avoid areas with high traffic and choose paths with good lighting and visibility.

Weather the Storm

Be Weather Prepared: Check the forecast and dress appropriately. In hot conditions, opt for breathable fabrics, and in colder climates, layer up to maintain body heat.

Hydration Nation

Water is a Must: Carry enough water for the entire family, especially on longer runs or warmer days. Dehydration can be a serious risk, so make sure everyone stays well-hydrated.

Against the Grain

Run Against Traffic: If running on the road, face oncoming traffic. This allows you to see and react to vehicles, ensuring a safer experience.

Animal Awareness

Prepare for Encounters: If trail running, know the local wildlife and how to safely handle any encounters. Watch for stray dogs or other animals along your path. Educating the family on these safety measures can ensure wildlife keeps its distance.

Road Rules

Teach Traffic Safety: Make sure children understand basic road safety, such as crossing at crosswalks and making eye contact with drivers before crossing.


Carry ID: Have identification and a phone with you in case of emergencies. Teach children to memorize important contact information.

Listen to Your Body

Know Your Limits: Encourage family members to speak up if they’re feeling unwell or need a break. It’s better to rest than to risk injury.

Expand Your Knowledge

First Aid Basics: Familiarize yourself with basic first aid and carry a small kit for minor injuries. Knowing how to handle sprains, cuts, or other injuries can be invaluable.

Stay Connected

Inform Others: Let someone know your running route and expected return time. In case of an emergency, they’ll know where to find you.

Respect the Trail

Running Etiquette: When running on trails, stay on marked paths, respect the environment, and teach children to do the same.

Share the Road

Make Way: Explain to children how to share pathways with other runners, cyclists, pedestrians, and especially vehicles, maintaining a safe distance and being courteous.

Run Safely!

Running safety is a comprehensive topic that encompasses everything from pre-run preparation to post-run recovery. By implementing these tips, you can ensure that your family’s running adventures are not only fun but also secure. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the journey together, creating lasting memories and fostering a love for fitness.

For more information or to get involved with our community, visit www.miles4mentors.org or contact us. Together, we can ensure that our families stay active and safe, one mile at a time.