Is it ever too early to start thinking about camping season? We don’t think so. Camping season is the best. It’s a chance to truly unplug, away from televisions, iPads and if your doing it right…cell phone service. Kids especially love any opportunity to camp. With no bath time, s’mores and endless places to explore how could it not be awesome. We have already planned our first camping trip of the year at the end of March. What about you?
Although camping is fun family time, there are some risks. As we get ready to kick off camping season, now it is a great time to be reminded about some simple safety tips to practice each time you set up camp that can help keep your kids safe from potential dangers.
Whether you are in a campground or in the backcountry it is important to help kids orient themselves to their surroundings. Point out easily recognizable landmarks like large trees or rock formations that could help them locate the campsite. If you are staying at a campground, help the kids memorize the campsite number or point out its proximity to other landmarks like the restroom or amphitheater.
Kids are less likely to wander into dangerous situations when you clearly set boundaries for where they are allowed to explore without supervision. Walk them around the campsite and surrounding areas and show them exactly where they can and cannot go. If you don’t set boundaries your chances of finding them in the river or on top of a giant boulder goes up exponentially.
Point out potential dangers.
Take a moment to point out campsite dangers such as poisonous plants or areas that have steep drop offs. Remind kids to respect the local wildlife by not touching or feeding any animals.
Discuss fire safety.
Even if your kids are experienced campers, it is important to always talk about what is expected around the campfire. Remind kids that horseplay and running around the fire is forbidden, as is stoking or adding additional wood.
Teach kids how to act in an emergency.
Teaching your kids how to handle themselves in an emergency is an important lesson that extends well beyond camping. But while you are out, remind them that if they do get separated from the group to stay put and wait to be found. A whistle can also be an important item for kids to signal for help. Many backpacks even come equipped with a built in whistle.
Stay safe out there everyone and here’s to an amazing camping season!