6 Safety Tips for Camping With Kids
By Kate Gardner
Just about every weekend, my neighbors load up their two small kids and go camping. They pile sleeping bags, coolers, toys, and bags into their truck, buckle the kids in, and take off for summer adventure. I'm not quite that die-hard a camper (I don't love sleeping on the ground) but millions of Americans do love camping. According to CNBC.com, 77 million households in the United States have at least one person who goes camping. Considering that many of us have the basics you need to camp (or at least know someone we can borrow a tent from) camping can be an inexpensive way to get outdoors.
Camping With Kids
Camping with kids is a great way to spend time together as a family and get away from everyday distractions like work, TV, and video games. However, it also poses certain safety risks. You can keep your camping trip fun by knowing what these risks are beforehand, and preparing for them. ActiveKids.com brings us this list of safety rules for camping with your kids.
Safety in numbers - When leaving the campsite, it's a good idea to have kids go in groups of two or more. That way if someone gets hurt, the other child can go for help. This includes heading to the restrooms.
Know your limits - Clearly tell kids where the boundaries are for your campsite. Use easy to see markers (like trees and picnic tables) or camp items to help them understand. Tell kids they need to stay inside the boundaries.
Water safety - If there is open water near your campsite, make sure kids know they can only go near it if an adult is with them. Active Kids suggests making sure kids get plenty of time to play in the water to lessen the temptation to sneak off to visit it by themselves.
Fire safety - It's not just campfires that can burn. Remind kids that camp stoves, grills, and lanterns can get hot and shouldn't be touched. As well, remind kids that nothing with a flame should ever go into the tent.
Wear shoes - It's tempting to run around barefoot, but nature can often be sharp and pointy. Keep shoes on to avoid injuries.
Tidy up the campsite - Have kids help clean up the site. Leaving food and unwashed dishes out can attract wild animals to your campsite. I personally have seen how destructive a family of raccoons can be. They're cute, but they'll destroy your campsite to get to your marshmallows.
If you're heading out to camp with your family, have fun, enjoy nature, and stay safe!
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