The family camping trip should be an unforgettable experience that stays with your children forever. They’ll want to recreate your trips to the great outdoors when they start their own families. Camping quickly becomes tradition in families who love the great outdoors. One year you’ll be wandering the Grand Canyon, the other you’ll be on one of the peekaboo canyon tours, the possibilities to enjoy this earth are endless.
With the endless opportunities for fun comes responsibility as well. As parents, you must fulfill your duty to teach children about staying safe while camping. An outdoor vacation may be fun, uplifting, and a chance to bond, but it’s also a place where accidents occur.
For any family vacation, you need to properly educate kids about certain safety precautions. Here’s a list of 5 safety precautions to teach your children while camping.
- Fire Safety
If you don’t teach your children about safely handling fire, then severe accidents happen. The first rule of building a campfire is to find the right spot. Build a campfire a safe distance away from overhanging trees, dry brush, tents, food, or flammable materials. A tip such as this seems like common sense, but parents often overlook the basic aspects of fire safety.
Once the fire is built, then let the fun commence. Prior to letting the children roast hot dogs and making s’mores, stress the importance of not getting too close to the fire. Maintaining a safe distance isn’t difficult.
Even though this is the parents’ job, teach the children about extinguishing the fire at the end of the night. Completely cover the fire with water or dirt to ensure there are no burning embers remaining.
- Don’t Swim Alone
No person should swim alone. Even the most experienced and advanced swimmers can run into complications in the water and need assistance.
At the camp ground there are often beautiful and refreshing lakes for families to swim in. Explain to your children the importance of swimming when the lifeguard is on duty. If the campground lake lifeguard isn’t there, then don’t go swimming unless a parent or older known adult says it’s fine.
Smart campers know how to stay clean. The outdoors can be fun and exciting, but during those extended expeditions exploring the wilderness, children are exposed to germs. Inform them about good ways to practice sanitation, especially if camping with pets where there’s slightly more risk (also make sure you look at tips for camping with dogs if you’re planning on taking your furry friends with you).
There are many ways you can help them with this process, though. Give them each a small bottle of Hand Sanitizer or a pack of disinfectant wipes. Before eating they should always wipe their hands clean.
- Always Have Communication
Children should have ample opportunities to explore the outdoors when camping. But parents must teach them about good communication. It’s so easy to get lost.
There’s plenty of fun ways to show them about good communication. Give them reflective tape or bright colored rain jackets to carry with them. These reflective and bright colored clothing articles are worn in case they do get lost. It will be easier to spot them.
They should go exploring with a friend or adult. Having a buddy who helps remember the return route to the campground is beneficial. If you permit kids to explore alone, then they should only go a reasonable distance away from the campground. Give them a “step distance” to guide them. For example, they’re allowed 100 steps away from the campground.
If you really want to make it fun for the kids, then purchase a pair of two way radios or walkie talkies. Give the children each a radio to communicate with one another. Provide them with backup batteries as well.
- Update the First Aid Kit
When packing for the family vacation, check the first aid kit with your children. Go through every item with them. Teach them about the importance of gauze, medical tape, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, and other first aid supplies. It can also be worth checking what health provisions are already at the campsite you’ve chosen, such as if they have an outdoor AED cabinet or other medical equipment to hand. Explain what typical accidents might happen while camping. Teach them about ways to treat those accidents.
Checking the first aid kit is a part of the packing process. Good campers should pack efficiently. It wouldn’t hurt to explain the most effective tips to pack for a camping expedition. You should even explain to them the importance of properly packing their backpack when that day arrives. It’s a good idea to check out backpacks on a site like Backcountry.com that offers a nice selection. Smart and safe campers pack light and efficiently.