National Camping Month & National Great Outdoors Month is here!
With summer finally here, it is a great time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors! If you are heading out for a short hike or camping for a few days, below are some safety tips to help you and your family.
- Location: Choose a site that is safe for your family. If you are going to an unfamiliar place, research the weather, terrain, and creatures native to the area. Ensure you pack the proper gear and clothing, including sunscreen, water, rain gear, repellant, equipment, etc.
- First Aid: Bring along a First Aid Kit! Healthychildren.org outlines a helpful list of what you might need as you prepare for your adventure.
- Sun Protection: Plan sun protection by packing and wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun repellant clothing. Do your best to avoid the high solar radiation from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Put sunscreen on 15-30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours. Use a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label with an SPF of at least 15.
- Insect Safety: Dress children in clothes that prevent insect bites. This can include long-sleeve shirts, pants, and socks to prevent bites. Repellants containing DEET are vital to insect-related disease prevention. The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than two months is to “use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than two months of age.” Also, check your child’s hair and skin for ticks at the end of the day.
- Fire Safety: If building a campfire, keep flammable items away, never leave a fire unattended, have a water bucket near the fire, and not leave children unsupervised.
- Safety Rules: Set expectations for your children ahead of time on safety precautions they should take. Set boundaries regarding how far they are allowed to wander away from you and what hazardous conditions they should be aware of or avoid (fast-moving water, cliffs, etc.).
- Have fun! Let your kids get involved with the process, from packing and planning to setting up a tent, cooking, etc. After all, camping and being outdoors are great ways to improve health, detox from the digital world, strengthen family relationships, explore nature, and develop life skills!
Resources for Safe Camping, Hiking, Activities, and More:
National Park Service: Staying Safe
Summer Safety Tips: Staying Safe Outdoors
Hiking with Infants, Toddlers and Kids
Teens and Sun: Keeping Them Safe Without Ruining Their Fun
How to Build an Essential Summer First Aid Kit
P.S. Don’t forget your s’mores!