These are the questions we ask ourselves before we take our kids on the river:
Have we ever paddled this river?
Have we ever paddled this river at the current flows?
How many adults do we have?
How many kids do we have?
How many other boats are there?
How much experience do our kids have on the river? On any river?
If something happens, and they fall in, or we flip, do we have enough people for a quick recovery?
It's important to remember that kids don't have the same reaction to swims as adults do. They seem to be pretty shocked at first, and tend to get swept downstream a little faster because their reaction time is delayed. Is someone prepared to jump in and swim after them? If so, is someone else capable of staying with the other kids?
Runoff season is hard for parents. We want to get on the river as much as possible, and bring the kids with us, but it is so important to look at all the possibilities. Don't take your kids into a situation that is going to scare them away from the river.
And for feck's sake, people, make your kids wear a helmet!
It's a good day to be a duck....